Police arrest Buddhist monk for sexual abuse of 15 child monks

The incident came to light on Wednesday after one of the victim monks managed to call up his parents in Assam and narrated his ordeal

PATNA: As the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) still investigates the alleged mass rape of girls at a childcare home in Bihar, the sexual abuse of 15 child monks at a school-cum-meditation centre run by a Buddhist monk has come to light. The police have arrested the monk while the process is on for the medical examination of victim children aged between six and 13.

The institute in the eye of storms is Prajna Jyoti Buddhist Notice School and meditation Centre located at international pilgrim town Bodh Gaya, the holy land for Buddhists across the globe, in Bihar. The institution was being run by Prajan Social Welfare Trust, a non-governmental organisation.

A total of 29 child monks were enrolled at the centre. All the victim monks hail from the eastern Indian states of Assam and Tripura.

The incident came to light on Wednesday after one of the victim monks managed to call up his parents in Assam and narrated his ordeal. Subsequently, some of the parents reached Bodh Gaya to take back their children and reported the matter to the local police.

The victim child monks told the police that the head monk Bhante Sanghpriya would call them in their bedrooms and would sexually abuse them regularly. According to then, the monks would also assault them badly if the child monks refused to oblige.

“We have registered the case and arrested the accused monk,” the local Gaya district superintendent of police Rajeev Mishra told the media on Thursday. The arrested monk who hails from Bangladesh is being interrogated.

He said the police had requested the civil surgeon to form a medical board for conducting examination of victims adding they had also informed the Child Welfare Committee which will prove psychological assistance to the victims. All the victims have been rescued and lodged at the Assam Bhawan in Gaya town under police security.

“The children had complained about the monk to their respective guardians. Also, they informed us that they were thrashed, mistreated and sexually abused while staying in the school. We are investigating the matter now and will take relevant action,” another police official Rajkumar Shah said.

This is the second time in quick succession that sex scandal has rocked the state. Last month, the police arrested about a dozen persons after alleged rape of 34 girls lodged at a child care home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur town. The incident is being investigated by the CBI under the observation of Patna High Court.


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