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Bomjan’s supporters press against ashram cases probe

As police look into complaints against the controversial ascetic Ram Bahadur Bomjan for disappearing at least four persons from his ashrams, the Bodhi Shrawan Dharma Sangha is building pressure on the government not to bring him to justice.

Families of individuals said to have disappeared from his ashrams have filed separate police complaints against the controversial ascetic, claiming that their relatives have been out of contact from Bomjan’s ashrams in Bara and Sindhuli district for years.

Three leaders of the Sangha, which manages Bomjan’s secretariat, met Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Co-chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Sunday and handed him a memorandum for halting the “activities aimed at igniting communal violence”. The Sangha also alleged that media reports were aimed at attacking religious harmony.

Dahal reportedly told the delegation that he would hand over the memorandum to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, pledging to make efforts not to let any untoward incident happen. “I’m well aware of media reports against Bomjan. Inform Guruji that I have much affection for him. I will also press the government to look into these concerns seriously,” Bhuminanda Devkota, a central member of the Sangha, quoted Dahal as saying.

Three leaders including Sangha Chairman and Spokesman Mani Lama, joint-secretary Kewal Lama and central member Bhuminanda Devkota also met Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, and opposition leader Sher Bahadur Deuba to express their concern.

A central member of Dahal’s former Maoist party, Devkota was inducted as a central member of the Sangha a few months ago. He has been studying Bomjan for an academic degree for four years.

Lama and Devkota said they would also appeal to leaders from other parties including the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal and the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal on the matter.

“The government should think many times before handling this issue as it is very sensitive,” Devkota said, adding that Bomjan has 1.7 million followers and has opened Sangha branches in 163 countries.

Lama was of the view that the allegations were baseless, warning that the Sangha had been studying the charges reported by media.

“We did not find records of any of such missing persons as reported by the media,” Lama said.

Police have begun investigations in the districts where reports have been filed by Bomjan’s followers. “You will know as soon as they come up with the results,” said Ram Krishna Subedi, spokesperson for the Home Ministry, when the Post inquired him about the investigations.

The families of Fulmaya Rumba and Sancha Lal Waiba of Makwanpur, Suresh Ale Magar of Bara, and Chunmo Dolma Tamang of Nuwakot have filed separate complaints against the young cult leader, claiming that their relatives have gone missing from Bomjan’s ashrams in Bara and Sindhuli district.

The case was brought to public attention after Setopati published a series of reports of nuns being sexually exploited in his ashrams. Reports said Bomjan used violence to intimidate those who spoke against him.

 

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