Police charge Buddhist monk over cash
New Delhi - Indian police said on Thursday they had filed charges against the Karmapa, a Buddhist monk seen as a potential successor to the Dalai Lama, over more than $1m in cash found at his monastery.
The charges against the Karmapa and nine others were lodged at court in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, where he lives near the town of Dharamshala with thousands of other Tibetan exiles who fled Chinese persecution.
In January, police officers swooped on the Gyuto monastery and seized the cash in Chinese yuan and other currencies, which his office says was money donated by devoted followers.
"The Karmapa has been charged with conspiracy," senior police officer Sumedha Dwivedi said. "The case is now before the court. We have got all the facts to prove a case against him."
The Karmapa, 26, is revered by Tibetan Buddhists as the 17th reincarnation of a 900-year old spirit and heads one of the four sects of Tibetan Buddhism.
He fled Tibet in 1999 as a 14-year-old because he said he was concerned that Beijing would force him to turn against the Dalai Lama, who has acted as a father-like figure for him in Dharamshala.
The Karmapa denied he was a Chinese spy when allegations appeared in the Indian media after the cash seizure.
Police said the charges related to conspiracy and foreign currency laws.