Self-claimed guru Nityananda is in police custody for one day. He has been arrested for fresh criminal charges. He surrendered at Ramnagaram.
Nityananda, whose whereabouts remained unknown since the latest case of assault and threat to life was registered on June 8, turned up at the judicial magistrate court surprising police who were on the lookout for him.
Magistrate Komala ordered the police custody after which Nityananda was whisked away in a police vehicle but not before he was heckled by a crowd of people who had gathered at the court premises.
Nityananda has filed a bail petition and police would produce him in the court for its hearing tomorrow, Ramanagara SP Anupam Aggarwal told PTI.
His surrender came within hours after the ashram announced he would return tomorrow and resume regular activities and the Karnataka High Court adjourned hearing on his petition seeking quashing of the fresh FIR against him to June 15.
Nityananda, already facing criminal charges including rape and out on bail after his arrest in 2010, courted fresh trouble when police on June 8 booked him and his followers for allegedly assaulting a mediaperson during a press conference at his ashram at Bidadi near here.
The press meet was held in the backdrop of a US-based woman alleging that Nityananda had sexually abused her for five years, a charge that triggered public outrage and protests by Kannada groups.
Coming under intense pressure from various quarters for action against Nityananda’s ‘objectionable activities’ at his ashram, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda had on Monday said he would be arrested in two days.
A search warrant was issued by police against him even as a high-level team of officials and police continued their searches at his ashram for the second day today.
Ramanagar District Deputy Commissioner Srirama Reddy led the search team along with police and went round various places in the 22-acre ashram, Dhyanapeetam.
According to sources, police elicited some information from the employees on the activities of the ashram.
Home Minister R Ashok said cases against the ashram would be filed based on the material seized during the ongoing search operations.
He said the government had constituted the committee headed by the Divisional Commissioner to probe into alleged objectionable activities in Nityananda’s ashram and land violations by it. The panel would submit its report as soon as possible.
Nityananda was arrested in April, 2010 from Himachal Pradesh two months after TV channels telecast purported videos showing him in a compromising position with a Tamil actress.
He was then charged with rape and other offences based on complaints against him filed in Tamil Nadu which were later transferred to Bangalore.
Nityananda, who hails from Tamil Nadu, also stirred another controversy recently after he was anointed the junior head of a cash-rich 1500-year-old Saivaite mutt by its present seer, triggering protests from other mutt heads and devotees and calls for take over of the mutt by the government