Late order delays ashram takeover

Suspicion over restricted entry to many rooms
Last Updated 12 June 2012, 18:46 IST

It was a long wait for the media and the police deployed at the Nithyananda Ashram as the authorities took a lot of time to look into the legalities of the oral orders that Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda issued on Monday to seal the ashram and conduct a search inside.

The police were waiting for a written communication in this regard.

Finally, when the home secretary issued an order in the evening, a team of officials headed by Ramanagara Additional Deputy Commissioner Archana M S entered the ashram, along with the police headed by Ramanagara Superintendent of Police Anup Agarwal. Nithyananda is facing several charges, including rape.

The self-styled godman, who is out on bail after being arrested in 2010, courted fresh trouble after a US-based woman disciple alleged last week that she was sexually exploited by him for five years, a claim that has caused public outrage.

Secret rooms

The government order mentions that secrecy shrouds many rooms in the ashram and that there is no clarity about the ‘entry prohibited’ boards in front of some of the rooms.

The order says that there is no clarity about the existence of secret rooms in a place meant for spiritual activities. Many women participate in spiritual programmes and camps conducted in the ashram, it says. 

The ashram receives parcels from foreign countries and even the foreign visitors do not reveal why they have been received. There is no clarity whether the parcels are gifts or purchased items.

Records with the Commercial Tax department related to Nithyananda show nil imports and exports, giving room for suspicion, the order said.

(Published 12 June 2012, 18:46 IST)

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