Families of disappeared persons appeal government to find whereabouts of their kinFamilies of the three persons, who purportedly went missing from the ashrams of controversial ascetic Ram Bahadur Bomjan, have appealed to the government to find the whereabouts of their lost family members.
Families of the three persons, who purportedly went missing from the ashrams of controversial ascetic Ram Bahadur Bomjan, have appealed to the government to find the whereabouts of their lost family members.
At a press conference in the Reporters’ Club, Kathmandu on Friday, relatives of Fulmaya Rumba, Sancha Lal Waiba, and Chunmo Dolma Tamang, who came from Makwanpur and Nuwakot, urged the government to conduct a thorough investigation of Bomjan’s ashram and search their kin disappeared for years.
The families of the three said they believed that they were living at Bomjan’s ashrams in Sindhuli, and Sindhupalchok for meditation until Setopati started publishing a series of reports on Bomjan, alleging him sexually exploiting nuns and using violence to intimidate those who speak against him.
“When I tried to reach Bomjon to know the whereabouts of my daughter, I wasn’t allowed to meet him. When I enquired with other people of the ashram, they said they didn’t recognise her,” said Bir Bahadur Rumba, father of Fulmaya during the press meet.
Fulmaya and Chunmo had together gone to their homes after meditating retreat in a cave for three years, three months and three days—a mediation practice in Buddhist—nearly a decade ago. But after the brief visit, the family had not heard from them since they left for ashram. They were presuming that the nuns were engaged in similar meditation exercise.
“Fulmaya once contacted me from Sindhupalchok after she returned to ashram. She had asked me to come there, if I wanted to meet her for the last time. Since I was busy I couldn’t go there, and assured to come later. After the 2015 earthquake devastated Sindhupalchok, I went there to look for her but I couldn’t find her. I haven’t heard from her ever since,” said Bir Bahadur.
“Some people also said Fulmaya was a CID agent as well,” Bir Bahadur added.
Prem Dorje Bal Lama, a member of Nepal Ahinsabadi Bauddha Dharma Biswashanti Chakra Sang Nepal, said Bomjan had been supported by Buddhist organisation for a long time but after they started finding about his hypocrisy they stopped financing him.
“He [Bomjan] lied, which a Buddhist follower should never do. He refused to speak about his lies. He even said that he doesn’t follow Buddhism,” said Prem Dorje Lama.
He further said the government should investigate Bomjan and his ashram as there are many anomalies happening inside. “Bomjan had once beaten up some disciple by himself as well calling them agents of CID,” he said.
However, none of the family members directly accused Bomjan to be guilty behind the disappearance of their relatives. When the press questioned if Bomjan was a rapist or murderer, no one agreed.
The accounts of the families of the disappeared indicate that Bomjan was really afraid of police investigation over his ashram.
Prior to this too, Bomjan had been dragged into controversies for both sexual exploitation and grave physical violence. Ganga Maya Tamang, a nun in Bomjan’s ashram, has accused Bomjan of raping her while in the ashram. He has also been accused of possessing firearms.
All those who disappeared had gone to ashram believing that Bomjan was a god incarnate. “We believed that Bomjan was a god incarnate and we worshipped him too. Now he is not a god for us anymore,” said Bijay Rumba, brother of Fulmaya.
In a press statement on December 26, Bodhi Shrawan Dharma Sangha, the organisation of Bomjan criticised the news stories of Setopati as fraudulent.
“If they are dead, give us their dead bodies. If they are alive, let us meet them,” Ganga Maya Tamang, sister of Chunmo, said to Bomjan’s ashram.
All the family members have filed separate police complaints with the police to search their lost ones.
Both Makwanpur and Nuwakot police said they have launched investigation to find the whereabouts of Fulmaya, Sanchalal, and Chunmo Dolma.