BARA: The police called up early in the morning wondering if Ram Bahadur Bomjan, the ascetic, had actually died. Within half an hour, scores of journalists thronged to the site. There Bomjan in the pink of health was meditating as ever.

Talking to mediapersons, secretary of Namo Buddha Tapoban Committee Ekananda Kunwar said, “It was just

a rumour, which spread like wildfire.”

Raj Kumar Shrestha, sub-inspector, Area Police Office, Nijgarh, said somebody had informed them that the ascetic had died. “However, as I came to know that he was alive, I informed my officials,” he added. The rumour of Bomjan’s death not only attracted media attention but also the locals’ who came from far and wide to see if their religious idol had really died.

“Nobody has the right to play with our religious sentiments. The one who had spread such news must be punished,” the committee president Bed Bahadur Theeng said, adding, “The police must investigate into the incident.”

Interestingly, Bomjan’s mother Maya was unaware of all these happenings, while the rumour did the rounds. The 20-year-old ascetic has been meditating since 15 May 2005.