Nepal’s Boy Buddha frees Slovak hostage
Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times
Kathmandu, March 27, 2012
First Published: 00:48 IST(27/3/2012)
Last Updated: 00:40 IST(28/3/2012)
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A Slovak woman held captive for three months by followers of Ram Bahadur Bamjan, 22, popular as Nepal’s ‘Buddha Boy’, was released on Sunday night.
The woman identified only as Marichi, 35, and another woman from Nepal had been kept inside a jungle in Bara district bordering India
for allegedly practicing witchcraft to disrupt Bamjan’s meditation.
Following media reports of their disappearance on Sunday, Bamjan’s followers dropped Marichi at a hotel in Simara in Bara district around 9 pm. There’s no news of the Nepali woman.
Reports say the Slovak woman has a broken arm and is very weak. She told local journalists that she has been asked by Bamjan’s followers not to reveal anything about her ordeal to the media or police.
Police sub-inspector Padam Bahadur Khadka of Simara police station stated further investigations into the long disappearance of the two women are on.
Marichi had arrived in Nepal 11 months ago and stayed in a hotel Simara before shifting to a monastery. She was allegedly whisked away by two youths on a motorcycle on December 28.
The police came to know about the disappearance of the two women last week after a complaint was lodged. On questioning, Bamjan’s followers admitted to keeping them in captivity.
Bamjan had gained worldwide publicity seven years ago after reportedly meditating without food or water for several months—much like Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.
His followers claim Bamjan who has been meditating since May 2005 is a reincarnation of Lord Buddha.
Last Thursday, his followers beat up five journalists and took away their cameras while they were filming Bamjan’s sermon. He was also accused of beating up some local residents last year.