Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Nithyananda’s American devotees issued notices

Media reports say that Swami Nithyananda’s American devotees have been issued notices by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Karnataka, seeking their cooperation in the investigations against the self-appointed godman, who is now in judicial custody facing alleged cases of rape, unnatural sex, fraud, criminal intimidation, hurting of religious sentiments and financial irregularities, after he was caught on hidden cameras in a compromising position with a film and television actress and broadcast by television channels.

The American citizens, believed to be the followers or devotees of the alleged sex-scandal hit Swami Paramahamsa Nithyananda, were tracked down through their e-mail ID, according to sources. The two American citizens, now being summoned stayed in Swami Nithyananda’s Bidadi ashram, have agreed to cooperate with the investigation, though no specific date has been fixed for their return to India, according to Deccan Herald.

The controversial godman Swami Nityananda’s bail plea is to come up for hearing on May 26 before the Karnataka High Court, and the CID is expected to include an updated list of notices issued to American nationals in the statement of objections to Swami Nithyananda’s bail plea before the Karnataka High Court. The bail plea was earlier dismissed by a lower court.

Also, the Karnataka High Court, through an order of Justice B.S. Patil, adjourned petitions filed by four trusts run by Nithyananda challenging the freezing of his bank accounts as part of the CID investigation into the alleged sex scam. Earlier, Nithyananda’s Trust’s bank accounts were frozen as the CID had communicated to ICICI Bank, Corporation Bank and Canara Bank to freeze the accounts in the names of Dhyanapeetam Charitable Trust, Nithyananda Foundation, Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam, and Nithyanandeshwara Devasthana.

The CID sleuths have informed the High Court that they have collected evidence from at least 35 witnesses on cases against Swami Nithyananda. Acting upon a search warrant issued by a lower court in Ramanagara, the police have also seized 23 computer hard disks from Bidadi Ashram of Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam.

The bail plea of Nithya Bhaktananda, a disciple of Swami Nithyananda, has also been adjourned to May 26, along with Nithyananda’s petition.

Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam, Hyderabad: According to reports, on Wednesday, May 12, Nithyananda’s ashram was attacked and the ashram inmates chased away by locals of Satamrai in Shamshabad, near Hyderabad. It was the second such attack on the ashram in the last three months. The ashram is built on a 4.5 acre property donated by Sujatha Reddy, a former devotee of Swami Nithyananda. Recently, the locals, who were annoyed by the poor maintenance of the temple and the attitude of Nithyananda’s staff, approached the donor and explained the situation to her.

On Wednesday afternoon, Sujatha Reddy, along with the locals, went to the ashram and asked the Nithyananda’s disciples, who were working as priests and caretakers of the temple, to leave the ashram. Consequently, alleging that they were manhandled by Sujatha Reddy and the local people, the ashram staff approached the RGI Airport police. On the case, inspector R Sanjay Kumar said, "We are talking to both groups and so far no cases have been registered".

Earlier on March 3, after the alleged sex scandal of Swami Nithyananda broke out on television, internet, etc. the local people evicted some of the inmates of Nithyananda’s Ashram here.

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