Nityananda held in Himachal, to be flown to Bangalore Thursday (Fifth Lead)

April 22nd, 2010 - 1:07 am ICT by IANS  

Bangalore/Shimla, April 21 (IANS) Self-styled godman Swami Nityananda, who was arrested Wednesday from a Himachal Pradesh village along with four others, would be flown to Bangalore Thursday and presented to a local court for remand, police said.
“Nityananda and his accomplice Nithya Bhaktananda alias Gopal Seelam Reddy will be brought to Bangalore Thursday and produced in the local court at Ramangara district, about 40 km from here,” Karnataka Corps of Detectives (CoD) Director General of Police (DGP) D.V. Guruprasad told IANS in Bangalore.

Nityananda, Reddy along with the three other accused were presented in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (Shimla) Yashwant Singh Chogal, who sent Nityananda and Reddy to four days’ transit remand to Bangalore, late Wednesday night.

Earlier in the day, a joint team of Karnataka’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and Himachal Pradesh police took Nityananda and Bhaktananda into custody from a village near Arki town in Solan district, about 50 km from Shimla.

“Nityananda was staying in a house for the past few days,” Himachal Additional Director General of Police I.D. Bhandari told IANS in Shimla.

Along with the godman and his accomplice, three other followers were also taken into custody.

“Himachal police got a fax from the Karnataka police April 17 that they had information that Nityananda was hiding in Himachal Pradesh. Subsequently, two deputy superintendents of police reached Shimla for investigation,” Bhandari said.

“The Karnataka police came to know about Nityananda’s whereabouts through a mobile call he had made,” Bhandari added.

The 32-year-old Nityananda alias Rajashekaran has been on the run since March 3 after video footage telecast showed Nityananda in bed with two women. He denied any wrongdoing and has not been seen in public since then.

“The godman is wanted in connection with two cases registered in Coimbatore and Chennai last month but transferred early this month to Bidadi, about 35 km from Bangalore, under various IPC (Indian Penal Code) sections,” Guruprasad said.

The charges include obscenity, criminal intimidation, rape and hurting religious sentiments.

Nityananda and Bhaktananda were presented before a local magistrate in Solan for a transit warrant and will be taken to Bangalore.

“A probe team searched the godman’s ashram ‘Dhaynapeetam’ at Bidadi again Tuesday and seized incriminating documents and 23 computer hard disks,” Guruprasad said.

In an earlier raid last month, the CID seized three laptops, eight mobiles, Rs.300,000 and $7,000 in cash and travellers’ cheques from the godman’s ashram premises.

In a related development, the Karnataka High Court Wednesday rejected Nityananada’s anticipatory bail plea and his petition to quash the criminal cases against him.

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