Police to lock up Bidadi ashram
Ramanagara police will shut down Nithyananda Dhyanapeetham, the Bidadi-based ashram of Nithyananda, on Tuesday. A search operation launched on Monday will continue through Tuesday.
“I will submit a detailed report to the deputy commissioner on locking the Dhyanapeetham. Action will be taken based on the DC’s instructions,“ Anup Agarwal, Ramanagara Superintendent of Police, told Deccan Herald.
Hundreds of residents at the ashram and devotees left the Dhyanapeetham soon after the government’s order. Several devotees vacated the ashram in the last couple of days following the violent incidents. Police checked the luggage of those leaving the ashram, and seized a hard disk from a woman foreign devotee and questioned her.
Tight security has been deployed at the ashram.
The Ramanagara court on Monday granted conditional bail to 16 members of Karnataka Nava Nirmana Vedike. L Ramesh Gowda, president, Kasturi Karnataka Janapara Vedike, and four of his associates, are yet to get bail.
The police have registered 12 cases against them. It is said the Intelligence Wing of the Karnataka Police had informed the government four days in advance about the possible violent incidents in the ashram.
For Nithyananda, it was a second escape in two years. The March 2010 telecast of an episode that allegedly showed him and a Tamil actress in close proximity triggered a national outcry, forcing him to flee the Bidadi ashram.
The Karnataka police registered cases against Nithyananda on the charges of rape, committing unnatural sex, criminal intimidation, criminal conspiracy, cheating, deliberate and malicious act intended to outrage the religious sentiments, under Sections 295 A, 376, 377, 420, 506(1) and 120 of the Indian Penal Code.
He was arrested in April 2010, along with four associates, by a Karnataka-Himachal Pradesh CID team, from a hideout in Shivshankargarh village under Arki police station in Himachal Pradesh.
Police recovered Rs 3 lakh and $7,000 in cash, three laptops, three video cameras, seven cell phone handsets, five SIM cards and a bunch of documents from the house where the four were holed up for over a month.
On June 11, 2010, Nithyananda was granted bail and released from judicial custody after he had spent 52 days in the Ramanagara sub-jail.