‘Buddha Boy’ followers reportedly vanish, sparking investigation by Nepalese police

Nepalese police suspect the “Buddha Boy” is not as harmless as he appears.

Ram Bahadur Bomjan, a 28-year-old spiritual leader who rose to fame in 2005 amid claims from some believers that he is the reincarnation of Buddha – with crowds gathering to see him meditate in a jungle – is now under investigation after four members of his flock were reported missing.

Police were alerted to the disappearances in late December after receiving complaints from each of the members’ families, who say they have not heard from their relatives in years after they left home to live amongst Bomjan’s followers, according to the Kathmandu Post.

Bomjan previously has been accused of physically and sexually assaulting his followers, with one 18-year-old nun claiming in September last year she was raped, the AFP reports.

"The investigation is in preliminary stage and we cannot share many details,” Uma Prasad Chaturbedi, a spokesman for Nepal's Central Investigation Bureau, told the news agency.

Police over the weekend took control of one of Bomjan’s religious retreats and two others are said to be under constant surveillance, according to the Himalayan Times.