Nepal’s ‘Buddha Boy’ in custody: Arrest made on charges of rape and missing devotees

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NEPAL, Jan 10: Nepal police announced on Wednesday that they have apprehended Ram Bahadur Bomjan, a spiritual leader revered by followers as a reincarnation of Buddha, on charges related to disappearances and rape at his ashrams. Known as the “Buddha Boy,” Bomjan gained notoriety as a teenager for purportedly meditating motionless for extended periods without food, water, or sleep.

Despite having a dedicated following, the 33-year-old guru has faced long-standing accusations of physical and sexual assaults against his devotees, leading him to evade authorities for several years. Police spokesperson Kuber Kadayat informed AFP that Bomjan was arrested after being in hiding for an extended period due to multiple allegations, including disappearances and sexual exploitation.

In 2010, numerous assault complaints were lodged against Bomjan, who claimed to have assaulted individuals disrupting his meditation. Subsequently, an 18-year-old nun accused him of rape at a monastery in 2018, prompting further scrutiny.

A comprehensive investigation by special police investigators commenced in 2019, initiated by complaints from families of four devotees who reportedly went missing from one of Bomjan’s ashrams. The following year, a sexual exploitation complaint in another case was registered against him in Sarlahi, located south of the capital Kathmandu.

Even as allegations mounted, Bomjan continued to amass followers. Tens of thousands once gathered to witness his reputed meditation miracles deep in the jungle. Notably, at the age of 16, he disappeared for nine months, wandering the wilderness of eastern Nepal, prompting a continuous vigil by Buddhist monks praying for his safe return.

This news has been read 732 times!

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