A Buddhist monk running a meditation centre at Bihar’s Bodh Gaya district was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly sexually abusing 15 child monks.
The child monks, all from Assam, were studying at a school-cum-meditation centre run by the accused Bhante Shanghpriya Sujoy at Mastpura village under Bodh Gaya police station.
The accused monk hails from Assam as well.
An FIR was lodged with Bodh Gaya police station under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offence) Act.
“The child monks had complained to their respective guardians about physical and sexual abuse by their head monk. They also informed us that they were thrashed, mistreated and sexually abused while staying in the school. We are investigating the matter now”, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Rajkumar Shah told local journalists.
The child monks, aged 6-12 years, will be produced before a judicial magistrate on Thursday and their statements would be recorded under the relevant CrPC section, Mr. Shah added.
They will also be taken for medical tests, he said.
The child monks said to police that the head monk used to sexually abuse them in his office/bedroom, beating and threatening them with dire consequences on refusal.
“The police swung into action soon after they got the information and arrested the main accused”, Gaya Superintendent of Police, Rajeev Mishra said.
The police are also investigating details of the trust which runs the school. FIR will be lodged against all members of the trust if any fraudulent activities are found, Mr. Mishra added.