Nityananda on way to Bangalore via ChandigarhApril 22nd, 2010 - 11:26 am ICT by IANS
Shimla, April 22 (IANS) Self-styled godman Swami Nityananda, arrested from a Himachal Pradesh village, was Thursday taken to Chandigarh, from where he would be flown to Bangalore, police said.
The charges against the Karnataka-based Nityananda, who has been on the run since March 3, include obscenity, criminal intimidation, rape and hurting religious sentiments.
“Nityananda and his accomplice Nithya Bhaktananda alias Gopal Seelam Reddy were taken to Chandigarh this (Thursday) morning and they would depart for Bangalore. They will be produced in the local court at Ramangara district,” Additional Director General of Police I.D. Bhandari told IANS here.
Nityananda, along with four others, was arrested Wednesday from a village near Arki town in Solan district, about 50 km from Shimla.
“They would be flown to Bangalore from Chandigarh later in the day,” Bhandari added.
Nityananda, Reddy and the 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.
A joint team of Karnataka’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and Himachal Pradesh Police took Nityananda and Reddy into custody after three days of massive search. They had been staying in a rented house since March 27 in Himachal Pradesh.
Three laptops, eight mobiles, Rs.300,000 and $7,000 in cash were seized from the house where Nityananda was staying.
“The 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,” he added.
Nityananda, 32, alias Rajashekaran, has been on the run since March 3 after video footage showed him in bed with two women. He denied any wrongdoing and has not been seen in public since then.
Karnataka Corps of Detectives (CoD) Director General of Police (DGP) D.V. Guruprasad said in Bangalore: “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.”
“A probe team searched the godman’s ashram ‘Dhaynapeetam’ at Bidadi again Tuesday and seized incriminating documents and 23 computer hard disks,” he said.
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.