Police suspect missing nun Sanchalal Waiba murderedPolice suspect that Sancha Lal Waiba, who is reportedly missing from Ram Bahadur Bomjan’s ashram in Sindhupalchok, might have been murdered.
Police suspect that Sancha Lal Waiba, who is reportedly missing from Ram Bahadur Bomjan’s ashram in Sindhupalchok, might have been murdered.
Security personnel searching for Waiba and three other nuns discovered nine wrappers of salt packets some 300 metres from Bomjan’s ashram. They have also found pieces of coal a few metres from the place where the salt’s packets were recovered.
On Friday, police raided the ashram of the controversial ascetic Ram Bahadur Bomjan in the forest of Indrawati Rural Municipality in the district, following complaints by the relatives of the people who have been missing from his shelter for years. A security source said the salt packets were recovered on Friday evening while they found coals during another search operation on Saturday.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Bimal Raj Kandel said they found the covers of salt packets buried in the forest grounds but did not find any human remains. “The body might have been burnt elsewhere,” he added.
A team of forensic experts has also been investigating the case alongside the police in the area. According DSP Kandel, the samples of coals were sent to the Capital for a laboratory test. “The test report could find some clues,” added Kandel.
Police have been keeping Bomjan and his ashrams under close watch after relatives of Waiba and three other missing nuns started searching for their loved ones. Waiba’s son Mahendra had filed a complaint with police, saying his father had gone missing from Bomjan’s ashram. Bomjan, who in 2005 earned the media moniker “Buddha Boy” for allegedly meditating for months without food, water or sleep, has been accused in the disappearance of four of his followers.
Bomjan has ashrams in Bara, Sarlahi, Sindhupalchok and Sindhuli districts. Bomjan is said to have been in his Sindhuli ashram recently.
Waiba, Fulmaya Rumba, and Chunmo Dolma Tamang have been out of contact with their families for years.
They had gone to the ashram in Sindhupalchok to learn from Bomjan.
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.
There are eight huts in Bomjan’s ashram at Todkebari, Sindhupalchok, that occupies about 80 ropanies of land. It is learnt that 14 of his followers have been staying in the ashram currently.
“There are not any old followers in the ashram now. They have already left the ashram. All the followers fell ill after performing Maitri pooja. He [Panchlal] might have been died due to excessive torture. His body might have been taken out of the place where he was earlier buried and burnt in another place, fearing that the followers who left the ashram could disclose the matter,” said a local source. Police said they are investigating into the case.