Nepal Police IGP Sarbendra Khanal has said Ram Bahadur Bomjon, who has been accused of rapes and murders inside his ashrams, has not been arrested in lack of adequate evidence.
Addressing a press conference organized to mark completion of one year at the helm of Nepal Police, Khanal pointed that a few of the complainants have withdrawn the complaints. “There is no adequate evidence to take action against Bomjon. A few complainants have withdrawn their complaints,” Khanal stated. “The law does not allow us to immediately arrest him. But we have not stopped investigation.”
Five separate police complaints were registered in different districts claiming that family members have disappeared from Bomjon’s ashram after Setopati published a news report titled ‘Series of sexual exploitation and violence in Bomjon’s ashrams’ on December 26 documenting how four persons are missing from his ashram.
Mahendra Waiwa of Makwanpur filed a police complaint requesting for search of his father who went to Bomjon’s ashram, Hasta Bahadur Ale Magar of Bara in search of his son, Bijay Rumba of Makwanpur for her elder sister and Ganga Maya Tamang of Nuwakot for her younger sister
Waiwa of Hetauda sub-metropolitan city 14 lodged the police complaint claiming his father Sancha Lal has been missing from the ashram of Bomjon for four years.
Waiwa’s father had called from Bomjon’s ashram in Badegaun, Sindhupalchowk on March 28, 2015 and said he will return home three days later. He had filed police complaint even then when his father did not come home even in 10 days. He then went to the ashram two days later only to be told that his father had already left the ashram.
He mentioned in the complaint that his father has not been found despite searching for all these years.
Police arrested Sancha Lal’s friend Indra Man Syangtan, who was allegedly beaten along with missing Waiwa by Bomjon and his disciples four years ago, from another ashram in Paire Dhapasar of Kamalamai-8 in Sindhuli for interrogation.
Eye-witnesses have claimed that Bomjon’s disciple Waiwa was beaten to death and his body was buried inside the Sindhupalchowk ashram.
A police team including forensic experts had raided the ashram in Bandegaun, Sindhupalchowk on January 4 but could not find any human skeletal remains there. But the team recovered packets of salt torn from the middle while digging at the spot on the hill behind the ashram where the disciple claimed Sancha Lal’s body was buried along with packets of salt.
Rumba of Rangashala, Hetauda filed the complaint in search of elder sister Phul Maya Rumba who was named Dolmo at Bomjon’s ashram. Rumba mentioned that his sister, who was staying at the ashram since 2011, had called in February 2015 from the ashram in Badegaun, Sindhupalchowk saying she will come home soon to see her parents.
Her parents were told she left the ashram in April when they went to meet him in June. She has not been in contact since that last phone call.
Dolmo’s friend Karma Tamang of Nuwakot, named Chunmo at the ashram, is also missing. “This applicant’s younger sister had gone to the Bomjon ashram in Sindhuli for study in 2011,” Chunmo’s elder sister Ganga Maya Tamang has said in her complaint with Nuwakot Police filed. “She had come home with a friend in 2012 and stayed for a day.
They returned to the ashram. They have not come into contact ever since. I have registered this application seeking requisite search.”
Ganga Maya and her family had tried to meet Bomjon after Chunmo went missing but he refused to meet. She says those close to Bomjon told them that they do not know where Chunmo went after leaving the ashram.
Mahendra Waiwa, Bijay Rumba and Ganga Maya Tamang were unaware about the violence and murder of their father and sisters respectively until Setopati published the series of news reports.
Hasta Bahadur Ale Magar, who contacted Setopati saying his son Suresh has also been missing from Bomjon’s ashram for three years after the news reports were published, also filed the police complaint.
Magar’s son Suresh, who had been living in Bomjon’s ashram, had returned home after the Gorkha Earthquake in 2015. Magar claimed that Bomjon’s disciple Jas Bahadur Waiwa had convinced his son, who had returned home for good, to return to ashram and taken him on a motorcycle. Magar claims that his son has not been in contact ever since.
“I request to find his actual state and rescue him as he has gone missing from Ram Bahadur Bomjon’s ashram,” Magar’s complaint read.
Sumni Bot of Kajiram Tole in Bagmati municipality 12, Sarlahi also filed a police complaint stating that her daughter Rita has been missing from the Halkhoriya ashram of Bomjon.
The complainant claimed that Bomjon had come to her home along with daughter Rita once and stayed for a month.
The daughter dug up the photographs buried under the ground and burnt them when she last came home and has never returned once she left, according to the complaint.
“The daughter who left after burning the photographs has not returned. Bomjon himself came once and asked about Rita. Let her whereabouts be known,” the complaint read.