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Can't give clean chit to Karmapa, says HP CM

February 12, 2011 12:45 IST

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister P K Dhumal on Saturday said his government cannot give any "clean chit" to Karmapa Ugyen Trinely Dorji, under ED scanner in a foreign currency haul case, as central agencies are probing the matter.

His comments came a day after Chief Secretary Rajwant Sandhu told the media that the Karmapa has no links with the money seized from his transit home in Sidhbari near Dharamsala.

 "We can't give him (the Karmapa) a clean chit as probe by central agencies is still on...Karmapa has neither been given a clean chit nor held guilty," Dhumal told mediapersons in Dharamsala.

"The Centre is probing into the huge foreign currency recovered during raids from the Gyuto Monastery, the transit home of the Karmapa. The state government had never made any accusation against him and therefore the question of giving clean chit does not arise," he said.

He said the chief secretary was repeatedly asked by a reporter during a press conference in Shimla on Friday about the status of the case. She then pointed out that the state government had never said the Karmapa is an accused.

"The illegal money that was found is being investigated and this matter is under the Union government...The central and state agencies are investigating the matter and I would not like to comment till the probe is complete," Dhumal said.

On Friday, Sandhu had said the Karmapa has no links with the money seized from his transit home as the affairs of the trust are managed by trustees. "He is a revered religious leader of the Buddhists and the government has no intentions to interfere in their religious affairs," she had said.

Foreign currency worth Rs 7.5 crore belonging to 25 countries including China was recovered by police from the premises of a Karmapa-backed trust and some of the trustees in the raids that followed recovery of Rs one crore from two persons on Mehatpur border on January 25 last, allegedly drawn from a bank at Majnoo-ka-Tila in Delhi for some land deal.

The police arrested seven persons including one Sanjay Dutt and Ashutosh, who were carrying the cash in the car, Shakti Lama, a key aide of the Karmapa, Dharamsala-based hotelier K P Bharadwaj, Manager of Ambala branch of Corporation Bank D K Dhar and a couple -- Karma Thapa and his wife Rinzin.

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