Swami Nithyananda, alias Rajashekaran, was today remanded in judicial custody till May 12 by the court in Ramanagaram on April 30, 2010, after he spent eight days in police custody.
The self-styled godman, who calls himself Paramahamsa Nithyananda, is being interrogated by the Karnataka CID probing various criminal charges including rape, unnatural sex, obscenity, fraud, criminal intimidation, violations of foreign exchange laws, gold-smuggling, possession of banned animal body parts like tiger skins, possession of banned sandalwood items, land scams, money-laundering, and hurting of religious sentiments. Nithya Bhaktananda alias Gopal Seelam Reddy, the swami’s principal aide is also in custody.
Swami Nithyananda denies all these charges. He has also, reportedly told the interrogators that he is not a man and it is impossible that he has committed rape. He has also asked the police to conduct a potency test on him, probably meaning either he is suffering from Erectile Dysfunction/ impotency (ED), or he belongs to what is known as the third sex (neutral), as some reports suggested. He claims that the alleged sex-tapes are fakes.
The court in Ramanagaram, about 40 KM from Bangalore, passed the remand order when Nityananda Swami was produced before it after eight days of police custody, the Karnataka police said. The Karnataka CID so far has not been able to make any significant headway in eliciting any information from him.
The police said, "We are in the process of analyzing the documents and memory card which we seized from Nityananda's former disciple Lenin Karuppanan when he was summoned here for questioning last week."
Lenin Karuppan, alias Nithya Dharmananda, is a former disciple of the godman, who was his driver and reportedly a member of his inner circle. Karuppan, it is alleged, was able to plant clandestine cameras in the bedrooms and private spaces of Paramahamsa Nithyananda with the help of one of the women inmates of his Bidadi Ashram. It is alleged that Ma Nithyananda Gopika, aka Nitya Gopika, who was a very intimate friend of the swami, helped Karuppan in recording the alleged Tantric sex adventures of the swami.
It is reported that 36 tapes are in the possession of the police, and at least five women were involved, including the alleged Tamil actress, Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) Hyderabad is reported to have confirmed. FSL also confirmed the tapes as original and ruled out any morphing, according to reports. The video clips were telecast by many TV channels, and found their way to the Internet, including YouTube.
Meanwhile, Tamil actress Ranjitha has denied her role in the tapes and served legal notices on Google Inc and YouTube for removal of the tapes, through her lawyers. She also denies to have given any interviews to any media. Her lawyers also warn others publishing such scandalous videos.
The Karnataka police are trying to find Nitya Gopika, considered as a vital lead in the case against Nithyananda, and she has been on the run since the sex tapes of Nithyananda were aired. But the police have not succeeded in establishing her identity and the only thing which is known to them is that she was a close friend of Nithyananda.
The police has got some lead about Nitya Gopika that she is a medical doctor who got a divorce from her husband, after she entered in a ‘non-disclosure sex contract’ at the ashram after which she was legally separated from her spouse. Nitya Gopika accompanied Nithyananda many times during his travelling to foreign countries. She had devoted herself to take care of his belongings according to reports.