Mutt heads back Anti-Nithya stir

Pressure mounts on govt to arrest pontiff, take over Bidadi ashram
Last Updated 10 June 2012, 19:24 IST

Pressure is mounting on the Karnataka government to take over the swank ashram of controversial godman Nithyananda near Bidadi on the outskirts of the City, in the wake of allegations that the campus was a hub of illegal activities.

The ongoing protest against the controversial head of the Nithyananda Ashram got a shot in the arm with leaders of various religious organisations and mutts supporting the demand for his arrest. The ashram has been under seige from protesters for the last three days, who have been demanding an investigation into the activities in the ashram.

Members of a number of organisations took part in a procession from the Kothi Anjaneyaswamy temple at Manchanayakanahalli village in Bidadi to the Dhyanapeetham.

The police prevented the protesters from entering the swank ashram as the Ramanagara district administration has imposed prohibitory orders till June 13.

Addressing the protesters, Kalika mutt pontiff Rishikumar said Indian culture held women in high esteem, alleging that Nithyananda brought disrepute to women by exploiting them. The government and the police should resist pressure and must arrest him by June 14, he demanded.

The Kalika mutt seer demanded immediate release of the members of various associations arrested and lodged in jail for protesting against Nithyananda. He warned that a hunger strike would be staged from June 14, if their demands were not fulfilled.

The Muzrai (temple administration) department should lock up the ashram and take charge of its affairs by 3 pm on Monday, he demanded.

Bheema Shankar Patil of Karnataka Nava Nirmana Vedike said the Dhyanap­e­e­tham had been converted into a centre of illegal activities. The protestors demanded that Nithyananda be externed from the State.

Anupam Agarwal, Ramanagara Superintendent of Police, said he would bring the demands of the protesters to the notice of the deputy commissioner and would act as per his directions.

Responding to instruction from district in-charge minister C P Yogeeshwara, the district administration and the district police had submitted to the government separate reports on advisability of the government taking over the ashram.

The reports detailed the developments that took place in the ashram since it was founded in 2003, Agarwal said, adding that the government would take suitable action by June 14.

Meanwhile, the district administration began removing the banners and flexes of Nithyananda on the Bangalore-Mysore highway in the presence of tahsildar Ravi M Thirlapur.

(Published 10 June 2012, 19:23 IST)

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