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Nepalese Figure Known as “Buddha Boy” Jailed for Sexual Assault

From independent.co.uk

Ram Bahadur Bamjan, also known as “Buddha Boy,” whom some believe to be the reincarnated Siddhartha Gautama, has been convicted in a court in Nepal on charges of sexually assaulting an underage girl. The ruling was made by a judge at Sarlahi District Court.

“The district court . . . found Bomjan guilty of child sex abuse,” said Sarlahi’s information officer, Sikindar Kaapar. (Yahoo! News)

Bomjan, 33, was sentenced on 1 July, with the prosecuting attorney seeking a sentence of 12–15 years in prison. “He has been sentenced to 10 years in jail,” district court registrar Sadan Adhikari said after the hearing. (Microsoft Start)

Bomjan was also ordered to pay US$3,750 in compensation to the victim. His lawyer, Dilip Kumar Jha, has said that he will appeal the conviction.

Bamjan was arrested in January on charges of sexual assault and suspicion of involvement in the disappearance of at least four followers from his camps. The charges related to the disappearances are still pending trial. Bomjan was apprehended in a suburb of Kathmandu after attempting to flee by jumping from a window. During his arrest, police seized Nepalese banknotes worth US$227,000 and foreign currencies amounting to US$23,000.

Bamjan’s community, the Bodhi Shrawan Dharma Sangha, said in a statement in January: “We appeal to our followers and supporters to not get distracted, and remain patient and calm. . . . We would like to request our followers and supporters to continue to walk the path of truth, and continue to help the Nepal government to find the correct facts.” (CNN)

From yahoo.com

The “Buddha boy” first came to fame in 2005, after followers claimed that he had meditated under a tree without moving for months and without food or water. Despite declining popularity in the wake of accusations of sexual and physical assaults, Bamjan continued to maintain camps in southern Nepal, where thousands come to worship him or reside.

In 2010, Bamjan was in the news for fighting with locals: “I abide by the law, but only the right ones. There are wrong laws too. I have done no wrong,” he told reporters. “They disturbed me while I was meditating . . . tried to manhandle me. I was therefore forced to beat up them.” (Republica)

In 2018, an 18-year-old nun made public accusations that he had raped her at one of his ashrams. However, police said that the nun did not file an official complaint, so no action was taken. Officials from his community alleged that the story was “completely made-up.” (CNN)

Bamjan’s claims of being the reincarnation of Siddhartha Gautama, who was born in southwestern Nepal around 2,500 years ago and has come to be revered as the Buddha, have been met with skepticism from Buddhist scholars.

See more

Nepal convicts ‘Buddha boy’ of child sex abuse (Yahoo! News)
Nepal court sentences ‘Buddha Boy’ to 10 years in jail for sexual abuse (Microsoft Start)
Buddha Boy gets 10 years jail for raping minor (The Himalayan Times)
Spiritual leader ‘Buddha Boy’ found guilty of sexual assault on a child (Independent)
Police raid ‘Buddha boy’ ashram in Nepal (CNN)
‘Buddha boy’ unrepentant (Republica Social Affairs via Archive.org)

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