Sarlahi court issues warrant against ‘Buddha Boy’, but police fail to track him downSindhuli District Police personnel raid ashram, but Bomjan was not found.
Sindhuli District Police raided the ashram of Ram Bahadur Bomjan, also known as “Buddha Boy”, on Friday morning, but he was not found.
The raid came a day after the Sarlahi District Court issued an arrest warrant against the controversial “spiritual leader” accused of sexual violence.
“We could not find Bomjan at his ashram,” Deputy Superintendent Shyam Bahadur KC, spokesperson for Sindhuli District Police, said. However, police arrested Gyan Bahadur Bomjan, one of his disciples.
Sundar Ghising, district chairman of Bodhi Shrawan Dharma Sangh, a non-governmental organisation founded by Bomjan, confirmed that Gyan Bahadur Bomjan was arrested at the sangh’s office in Kamalamai Municipality Ward 8.
According to locals, a group from the sangh surveils the ashram and it only allows Bomjan’s followers and its members in. Sharmila Tamang, a resident of Silame, said, “The ashram has been fenced and visitors are allowed only when the sangh permits them.”
Police have decided to continue their search. “The search for Bomjan will continue until he is found,” said KC. According to him, Bomjan has been accused of involvement in the disappearance of five of his followers, sexual exploitation of nuns, and violence against opponents.
Bomjan, who started living in Paire, Kamalamai, in 2017, later built an ashram over 42 bighas (284,450.8 sq meters), of which 18 bighas (121,9078.48 sq meters) belong to Chanadevi Community Forest.
Bomjan’s former female acolytes and their families have accused the ‘ascetic’ of sexual exploitation and inflicting grave bodily harm on his followers. Bomjan allegedly used his power, influence and close aides to threaten and silence them. In 2012, Bomjan’s followers allegedly held two women hostage, one of them a Slovak national, for three months.
Chhatra Ghising, a central member of the sangh, however, said all accusations against Bomjan were baseless.