Self-styled godman Nithyananda, who was missing from his ashram for five days following allegations of sexual exploitation of women, was yesterday taken into “protective custody” by the cops. The 32-year-old, who is also facing rape charges, came to a trial court in Ramanagaram to surrender after cases were slapped against him and his disciples over a fracas at his ashram last Thursday and Friday.
Ramanagaram district police superintendent Anupam Agarwal said that when Nithyananda sought to surrender, trial court Judge Komala asked him to appear before the court on Thursday. Hence, he was taken into “protective custody” in view of the tense situation in Bidadi, where Nithyananda has an ashram on a 29-acre plot, Agarwal said.
Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda on June 11 ordered Nithyananda’s arrest and the sealing of his ashram in the wake of trouble with media personnel last Thursday and a group of Kannada activists the next day.
Ramanagaram police have filed cases against Nityananda and his disciples as also against Kannada activists for the fracas at the ashram last week. The guru went missing from his ashram late Thursday and suddenly appeared before the Ramanagaram court yesterday, though earlier in the day he had issued a statement that he’d be back in his ashram on Thursday.