Nepal probes ‘Buddha boy’ over devotee disappearances

‘Buddha Boy’ Ram Bahadur Bomjan, seen here in 2008, became famous after followers said he could meditate motionless for months without water, food or sleep. (AFP)
Updated 07 January 2019
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Nepal probes ‘Buddha boy’ over devotee disappearances

  • ‘The police have started investigating these complaints against Bomjan,’ a spokesman for Nepal’s Central Investigation Bureau said
  • Thousands of worshippers queue for days to witness his so-called miracles of meditation deep in the jungle

KATMANDU: A Nepali spiritual leader believed by his followers to be a reincarnation of Buddha is under investigation over the disappearance of several devotees, police in Katmandu said Monday.
Ram Bahadur Bomjan, dubbed “Buddha Boy,” became famous in 2005 after followers said he could meditate motionless for months without water, food or sleep in Nepal’s jungles.
The 28-year-old guru has a devout following but has been accused of physically and sexually assaulting some of his flock.
Special police investigators have begun inquiries after the families of four of Bomjan’s devotees allegedly vanished from his ashrams.
“The police have started investigating these complaints against Bomjan,” Uma Prasad Chaturbedi, a spokesman for Nepal’s Central Investigation Bureau, said.
“The investigation is in preliminary stage and we cannot share many details.”
Bomjan has long been dogged by accusations of abuse in deeply spiritual Nepal, even as thousands of worshippers queued for days to witness his so-called miracles of meditation deep in the jungle.
In September last year, an 18-year-old nun accused the guru of raping her at one of his ashrams.
Dozens more have filed complaints against him alleging assault. The self-styled godman said he beat them for disturbing his meditation.
The Bodhi Shrawan Dharma Sangha, an organization associated with the guru, recently slammed as baseless a series of fresh allegations made by a local website, Setopati.com, which published reports detailing cases of disappearances, sexual assault and violence in his ashrams.


Pakistan summons top Indian diplomat and rejects New Delhi’s allegations

Updated 2 min 22 sec ago
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Pakistan summons top Indian diplomat and rejects New Delhi’s allegations

  • India accuses Pakistan of links to attack that killed 45 soldiers 
  • Pakistan dissed the Indian allegation as 'uncalled for and baseless'

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner, at the Foreign Office and rejected the “baseless allegations” made by India, the Foreign Ministry said.

Earlier, Pakistan dissed the Indian aggression against Pakistan after the deadly Pulwana Attack as “uncalled for and baseless.”

Malik Muhammad Ehsan Ullah, Chairman National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, told Arab News on Friday that “Pakistan has been supporting the just cause of Kashmir, highlighting Indian atrocities against innocent Kashmiris and will continue doing so.”

Despite Pakistan expressing "grave concern" over the terror attack and condemning it, India announced today to withdraw the Most Favored Nation (MNF) status previously granted to Pakistan. The decision came after a cabinet meeting was held today during which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was briefed about the attack on Indian security forces in Pulwama.

 In the World Trade Organization (WTO), this status means non-discrimination — treating virtually everyone equally, said Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during a press briefing, adding that "the MFN status that had been granted to Pakistan stands withdrawn."

“The [Indian] Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) will initiate all possible steps – and I’m referring to [...] diplomatic steps – which have to be taken to ensure the complete isolation from the international community of Pakistan,” Jaitley said on Friday, adding that there is “incontrovertible evidence” of Pakistan “having a direct hand in this gruesome terrorist incident.”

The Indian premier on Friday also warned Pakistan of a "strong action" after a high-level cabinet meeting on security was held in New Delhi.   

When asked if revoking the MFN status will in any way affect Pakistan, Ehsan Ullah said, “India’s MFN status to Pakistan was nothing more than a piece of paper, so its withdrawal doesn’t make any difference.”

At least 44 Indian paramilitary soldiers were killed on Thursday in Pulwama when an explosive laden vehicle rammed into a bus carrying Indian paramilitary forces on a highway in Indian administered Kashmir on Thursday.

 Militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility of the deadly attack.

Following Thursday night’s attack, Islamabad strongly rejected any insinuation that sought to link the attack to Pakistan without investigations. “We have always condemned heightened acts of violence in the Valley,” the Foreign Office said in its press statement issued late Thursday.

“We strongly reject any insinuation by elements in the Indian media and government that seek to link the attack to Pakistan without investigations,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said.