Room freshener brought godman's doom

Woman featured in the video was not Ranjitha, says her advocate

The camera that recorded Nithyananda's sex romp with Tamil actress Ranjitha at his Bidadi ashram near here was embedded in the room freshener bottle which was "gifted" to the godman by a 35-year-old Indian lady.

Of course, Ranjitha had no clue that such a gift was made to Nithyananda, though at one point in time (between December 23, 24 and 25 - the three days the camera ran and recorded) she once opened the cupboard where it was kept. Even Gopika, alias Vidya Vishwanathan, a close devotee of Nithyananda, had no clue that her "master" had been gifted a room freshner.

The woman, whose identity is not being revealed for legal reasons, played a crucial role in the shenanigans of Nithyananda's bete noir Lenin Karuppan, alias Dharmananda.

The woman is believed to have helped Lenin carry out the sting after some ashramites, both males and females, confided in him that Nithyananda had sexually compromised some of them. In his complaint to the police and subsequent examination by sleuths of the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Lenin is understood to have laid bare the details of his operation.

He then procured the sophisticated camera from abroad with the help of friends. Small and compact, the camera was fitted inside the room freshener bottle after it was emptied of its content which was poured back in once the gadget was installed inside the snout that is used to spray the fragrant liquid.

An unsuspecting Nithyananda accepted the gift from the woman who would visit the ashram from time to time from another country. Sources said she had access to Nithyananda's well-protected quarters in the ashram.

Long before the scandal became public, the woman devotee had left the ashram and the country.

Actor didn’t visit Bidadi

A Delhi-based advocate speaking on behalf of elusive Tamil film actress Ranjitha, secretly filmed in compromising positions with disgraced godman Nithyananda, on Thursday said his client was not the woman featured in the damning video.

Admitting, however, that Ranjitha has known Nithyananda “for quite some time and met him a few years back”, the actress’s advocate Prashant Mendiratta denied his client ever visited the godman’s Bidadi ashram near here. “No, she has never visited the Bidadi ashram,” Mendiratta said.

Asked if his client, who is believed to be located close to the national capital at the moment, if she would cooperate with the Karnataka CID, Mendiratta said: “Obviously, she will cooperate with the police.” This aside, a seven-page statement issued by the advocate on behalf of Ranjitha said,“the originality of the alleged person featuring in the video taken clandestinely has to stand the test of admissibility before being treated as evidence.” Asked if Nithyananda called Ranjitha while in hiding or if she ever visited the United States last year along with the godman, Mendiratta first sought time to respond to these queries. He later called up Deccan Herald to say: “We will need some more time to respond to these questions”.

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