Mirror Now Digital
BODH GAYA, India, 31 August 2018
Appalling details have emerged in a matter concerning sexual abuse of minor boys at a monastery in Bihar’s Bodh Gaya. Police officials investigating the matter revealed that the young boys were being used as sex workers by Bangladeshi Buddhist monk Bhante Sanghpriye Sujoy, who was at the helm of the operation.
The matter came to light after some children at the Prajna Jyoti Novice School and Meditation Centre got in touch with district police and narrated their ordeals. Local law enforcement wasted no time in taking up the matter and managed to arrest Sujoy who was running the monastery in question, on Wednesday. The monk was arrested after as many as 15 children complained of being subjected to physical and sexual abuse.
Soon after, a special investigation team (SIT) was formed on the orders of Gaya SSP Rajeev Mishra to probe the allegations. Bodh Gaya DSP Raman Kumar Chaudhary has been directed to lead the SIT under the supervision of city SP Anil Kumar.
Boys rescued from the monastery told investigating officers that they were being employed as sex slaves and were even sent to Kolkata several times for the same purpose. “We were closed in a room with no food or water and even made to dance naked with the head monk at night,” a boy told officials. Another boy revealed how the minors were beaten by Sujoy if they failed to comply with their orders.
While Sujoy was remanded to 14-day judicial custody by a court in Gaya, the children were taken to the Anugrah Narayan Magadh Medical College and Hospital (ANMMCH) for medical examinations. Four of them were also taken to the judicial magistrate’s court in order for the police to record their statements. It has also come to light that a majority of the boys hail from Tripura and Assam.
Parents of some of the boys who spoke to media personnel said that they had been approached by a man who promised their sons a monastery education in exchange for one thousand rupees to which they agreed. In response to the allegations, the International Buddhist Council (IBC) called for a meeting on Thursday. In addition to condemning the incident, the council decided to extend any help required from them throughout the duration of the investigation.