Police search Bomjan’s ashramPolice searched one ashram of the controversial ascetic Ram Bahadur Bomjan in the forest of Indrawati Rural Municipality, Sindhupalchok, on Friday, following complaints by the relatives of people who have been missing from his shelter for years.
Police searched one ashram of the controversial ascetic Ram Bahadur Bomjan in the forest of Indrawati Rural Municipality, Sindhupalchok, on Friday, following complaints by the relatives of people who have been missing from his shelter for years.
The District Police Office inspected the ashram on Thursday with permission from the District Court but said nothing suspicious was found. “We didn’t find any evidence that could provide us a lead in the case,” Sindhupalchok Police chief SP Mukunda Marasini told the Post. “But it doesn’t mean we won’t find anything later. The investigation has just started and there are a lot of new things to come,” added SP Marasini.
According to Nepal Police, Bomjan and his ashrams are being watched closely. Bomjan is said to have been in his Sindhuli ashram recently.
Fulmaya Rumba, Sancha Lal Waiba and Chunmo Dolma Tamang have been out of contact with their families for years. They had gone to the ashram in Sindhupalchok to learn about religion.
Families of the three started searching for their loved ones after Setopati published a series of reports on Bomjan, who is accused of sexually exploiting his female followers and using violence to intimidate those who spoke against him. When the families started searching for the lost ones, they couldn’t find them in any of Bomjan’s ashrams.
Bomjan has ashrams in Bara, Sarlahi, Sindhupalchok and Sindhuli districts. The ashram in Bara was sponsored by the Sushil Koirala-led government in 2014.
The families had previously believed that their dear ones were following the practice of Bomjan’s ashram where the nun meditates in a cave for three years, three months and three days without contacting anyone.
The local police searched the ashram after investigating the case for a week.
“Two police officers came to the ashram last week for an investigation,” said Ganesh Tamang, chairman of the Bodhi Shrawan Dharma Sangha, a non-governmental organisation founded by Bomjon.
According to Tamang, they have no idea about the lost ones as they went missing after the 2015 earthquake.
At a press conference organised by the relatives of the lost ones in Kathmandu, Prem Dorje Bal Lama of Nepal Ahinshabadi Baudha Dharma Biswashanti Chakra Sangha Nepal, a Buddhist organisation which previously aided Bomjan, revealed that Bomjan used to beat up his disciples calling them CID agents.
The families had requested the government to inspect the ashrams of Bomjan and find the missing ones—dead or alive. “Police will take action against the guilty. The investigation has started and will not end without reaching a conclusion,” Central Police Spokesperson SSP Uttam Raj Subedi told the Post.
As the investigation is into a high-profile person, the police headquarters has also pledged help to the district police, which leads the probe.
“We are ready to send all the required resources and professionals to facilitate the investigation if the district police asks for,” added SSP Subedi.