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Buddhist monk held for sexual abuse in Bodh Gaya sent to jail


Press Trust of India Gaya (Bihar)
A Buddhist monk was today sent to jail by a court here, a day after he was taken into custody over allegations of sexual abuse of children lodged at his monastery, police said.
Bhante Sanghpriya Sujoy, a Bangladeshi national, who ran a Buddhist school-cum-meditation centre in Bodh Gaya, was produced before a court which remanded him to 14 days in judicial custody, Superintendent of Police (City), Gaya, Anil Kumar said.
He said the victims - 15 boys from Assam - were also taken for medical examination and the statements of four of them were recorded before a magistrate.
Senior Superintendent of Police Rajeev Mishra said a Special Investigating Team (SIT), which would be monitored by the SP (City) and headed by Deputy SP, Bodh Gaya, Raman Kumar Chaudhary, has also been set up to probe into the scandal.
The monk ran an institution called "Prasanna Jyoti Buddhist School and Meditation Centre" at Mastipur village in Bodh Gaya where the 15 children - all hailing from Karbi Anglong district of Assam - were studying.
The police had received information that the boys were being sexually exploited by the monk.
Meanwhile, the International Buddhist Council (IBC) held an emergency meeting at Bodh Gaya where it passed a resolution condemning the "heinous crime against children in the name of religious teaching".
"All cooperation will be extended to the SIT so that the truth came out. A close watch will be kept on the activities of all monasteries here and those found involved in such dirty activities will be debarred from IBC membership," IBC Secretary Pragya Bhante said.
The IBC Secretary also pointed out that while there were more than 200 monasteries in Bodh Gaya which were registered either with the Council or with the Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee, many functioned without any registration with either authority.
The IBC Secretary urged the district administration to ensure that no monastery was allowed to function without registration.
Situated on the outskirts of Gaya city, Bodh Gaya is an international pilgrimage town where people come to pay obeisance to the Buddha who had attained enlightenment there.

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First Published: Aug 30 2018 | 9:30 PM IST

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