Home ministry raises concern over 17th Karmapa’s security - Hindustan Times

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)12 Sep 2016

Centre to hold meeting in Delhi tomorrow to discuss the issue

SHIMLA: Though the Sikkim government had urged the central government to allow 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje to visit Rumtek Monastery, the ministry of home affairs has raised fresh concerns over the security of 30-year-old Buddhist monk, who is the parallel head of Kagyu sect of Buddhism.

The Centre has called a meeting in Delhi to discuss issues related to security of Dorje. “Inputs from intelligence agencies about threat perception to Karmapa will be ascertained in the meeting in New Delhi. The home ministry has also sought inputs from the state government about Karmapa’s security arrangement,” said a senior police official, who requested anonymity. The meeting is scheduled on September 13 and will be chaired by the home secretary. 


In 1999, Ogyen Trinley Dorje at the age of 14 made an escape from Tsurphu monastery in China controlled Tibetan autonomous region. Dorje’s escape had made world headlines. It took the Indian intelligence agencies by surprise.

Dorje claimed that he, along with his attendants and elder sister Nodup Palzom, had travelled 1,450 km on horseback, train and helicopter to reach Dharamsala. Since the time of his escape, Dorje remains under watchful eyes of security agencies. The government has clamped restrictions on his movements.

Dorje at present resides at back side of tightly guarded Gyuoto Tantric monastery in Dharamshala. The monastery made headlines in 2011 when sleuths recovered more than `6.5 crore (foreign currency), which included 12 lakh Chinese Yuan. The cash recovered during raids belonged to the Karmae Garchen Trust headed by the Karmapa. Police arrested a cashier of the Trust, Rabgay Chosang. 


Dorje was recognised the head of Karma Kagyu School of Buddhism, the Tibet’s exiled temporal head the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso. Dorje is followed by a majority of Tibetan population and other Buddhist devotees. The other claimant to the seat is Delhi-based Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje, who was recognised by Shamar Rinpoche as incarnation of 16th Karmapa Ranguan Rigpe Dorje.

The Indian government has banned the 17th Karmapa from visiting the Rumtek Monastery for the past 17 years, following his escape from Tibet in 1999 and controversy over the real reincarnation of the 16th Karmapa. Intelligence agencies are apprehensive that Beijing anointed him to serve its long ulterior motives to change the mindset of Budhist population in India to favour China. Even after 17 years of his escape Beijing has still not denounced Dorje — the Chinese government still recognises him as the real head of the Kagyu Karma Sect. 


Dorje’s supporters that include some high-profile leaders of Sikkim, for long have been demanding relaxing restriction on movement of Dorje. They had been lobbying hard to persuade the central government to allow him to visit Rumtek monastery in Sikkim, which was originally built by 12th Karmapa Changchup Dorje in the 18th century. It was later rebuilt and renovated by the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje after his escape from Tibet in 1959. Rumtek is considered the real seat of Karmapa lineage in India.


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