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Shimla: In a setback to Tibetan religious head and 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje in a currency seizure case, the Himachal Pradesh High Court on Wednesday set aside the trial court decision to drop charges against him, and asked the state government to initiate criminal proceed against him.

“The impugned order rendered on May 21, 2012, by the judicial magistrate of Una is quashed and set aside,” Justice Sureshwar Thakur observed in a 48-page judgment.

“In sequel, the application preferred before the trial court by the assistant public prosecutor for permission to withdraw from prosecution against the Karmapa herein is dismissed,” he said, while disposing of the petition of Gangtok-based NGO Denzong Nang-Ten Sung-kyob Tsogpa.

Justice Thakur asked the government, including the director general of police, to proceed in accordance with law against the Karmapa.

“The instant criminal revision petition is directed against the impugned orders. The petitioner herein claims the relief of quashing of the order and seeks a direction from this court for reinvestigation of the case by an independent agency,” said the judge, who had reserved the judgment on June 1.

The Karmapa was charged with criminal conspiracy under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.

He was the 10th accused in the seizure of currencies of 26 countries, including 120,197 Chinese yuan and around Rs.5.3 million in Indian currency, from the Gyuto Tantric University and Monastery located on the outskirts of Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile, on January 28, 2011.

It was after the seizure of Rs.1 crore meant for land purchase that police conducted searches at the monastery and recovered the currency.

The 30-year-old Karmapa is the spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu School, one of the four sects of Tibetan Buddhism. He joined the Dalai Lama in exile in 2000. Ever since, he has mostly lived at the monastery in Sidhbari near Dharamsala.

“What disturbs this court is that the money which was Rs.1 crore and nabbed from the vehicle on January 26, 2011, was dishonestly divulged by the occupants of the vehicle,” Justice Thakur observed.

The unaccounted foreign money, in transgression of the norms of its legal conversion into Indian currency, was utilised for settlement or finalisation of the shady land transaction, he said.

The investigating officer had concluded that the land transaction by K.P. Bhardwaj, Swatantar Mahajan and Sher Singh and the authorised signatories of the Karma Garchan Trust was finalised for Rs.5 crore.

“The sale transaction smacks of the taint of its being reared with unaccounted foreign money illegally converted into Indian money,” the high court said.

The Karmapa had already got a clean chit from the Enforcement Directorate, which dropped charges of forex violations against him.

The ED, however, ordered confiscation of the foreign currency recovered from his monastery.

(IANS)

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Concerned Over The Rise of Drug Usage In The State: Himachal Governor

A three-day horse trade-cum-exhibition was organised before the beginning of the Lavi Fair.

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There are countless mothers who have been constantly tormented by drug-dependent adolescent children. Pixabay

Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat on Sunday expressed concern over the rise in drug addiction, particularly among the youth in the state, and called for concerted efforts to tackle the menace.

“Effective steps have been taken by the government and police administration, but we all need to work together in this direction,” he said at the inauguration of the centuries-old Lavi Fair in Rampur town, which was once a centre of barter trade with Tibet.

He called upon the people to promote natural farming. The state government has made a provision of Rs 25 crore to promote natural or organic farming to produce chemical-free food.

The 400-year-old Lavi Fair has undergone a sea change with the rural folk’s changing lifestyles and aspirations, resulting in a greater sale of gadgets and automobiles than traditional items such as farm implements, livestock and dry fruits.

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‘The traders from across the border have stopped coming’ Pixabay

The fair dates back to the time when Raja Kehari Singh of Rampur Bushahr state signed a treaty to promote trade with Tibet.

Rampur, 120 kilometres from state capital Shimla, was once a major trade centre as it is located on the old silk route connecting Afghanistan, Tibet and Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.

“People have stopped buying farm implements, horses and sheep. Now, they prefer to shop luxury goods like television sets and automobiles,” trader Ishwar Goyal told IANS.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur will preside over the concluding session of the fair on November 14.

Another trader Deepak Negi said Rampur was a centre of trade before the 1962 India-China war.

The traders from Tibet used to bring raw wool, butter, herbs and leather products and bartered them for wheat, rice, farm implements and livestock.

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Rampur, 120 kilometres from state capital Shimla, was once a major trade centre as it is located on the old silk route connecting Afghanistan. Pixabay

“Now, the traders from across the border have stopped coming. Indian multinational companies come here to sell their products. The fair has largely lost its relevance,” he added.

A three-day horse trade-cum-exhibition was organised before the beginning of the Lavi Fair. The main attraction during the exhibition were the Chamurthi horses – an endangered species known as the ‘Ship Of the Cold Desert’. Being a surefooted animal, it is mainly used for transporting goods in the Himalayas.

Also Read: Quitting Junk Food May Cause You to Suffer Withdrawal Symptoms Similar to Drug Addition

The Chamurthi horse traces its origin to the Tibet region. In India, it’s bred in the villages of Himachal Pradesh bordering China.

The fair sees several folk artistes from Punjab and Himachal Pradesh perform. (IANS)