Ranjitha visited US with godman

Ranjitha’s advocate Prashant Mendiratta, who issued a statement on Thursday claiming that his client was not the woman featured in the secretly filmed video in a compromising position with Nithyananda, on Friday avoided replying to Deccan Herald’s question on whether the Tamil actress visited the United States along with the godman last year.

It is also learnt that Ranjitha visited Sri Lanka thrice the same year, before she went to the US.

When Deccan Herald asked whether Ranjitha had spoken with Nithyananda over telephone in the last 50 days, Mendiratta first said he would “call back” but replied via email to say: “I am sure you understand how shattering the entire allegations and the follow up of the said video has caused to my client and her family.”

“As indicated in the press release, my client does not wish to add more to it at this time. I request you to respect her wishes as these are difficult times for her. We appreciate and thank you for your understanding and support and hope for your continued support.”

Deccan Herald’s sources in the United States -- all former devotees -- insisted over phone that Ranjitha accompanied Nithyananda on the US tour that took place between August and October last year. Several former devotees said videos taken of the self-styled godman’s ‘Kalapataru Darshan’ in several American cities clearly show that the Tamil actress was alongside Nithyananda.

“She was with Nithyananda in Columbus (Ohio), Los Angeles, Seattle, Oklahoma, Dallas, Houston and San Jose, besides New York where she even visited a relative,” a number of former devotees claimed. “At the Columbus temple, she even walked hand-in-hand with Nithyananda,” one lady quipped, pointing out that “the Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam’s travel records would prove she was in the US”.

At least three former Los Angeles-based devotees Deccan Herald spoke to over phone quoted Nithyananda having said that while Ranjitha was travelling with the swami on the Yogam tour he told ashramites that he was preparing her to be one of the acharyas and so he was spending more time with her and he appreciated all the ashramites for giving her “more space.”

“He also told some devotees in San Jose that Ranjitha was like his mother,” recalled the devotees, adding that two young San Jose-based couples suddenly quit the ashram in 2007 and that all ashramites were directed not to have any further communication with them.

Nithyananda sent to jail

Arrested godman Nithyananda will spend the next 12 days in the company of undertrials and convicted criminals after being remanded to judicial custody by a Ramanagara court near here on Friday. The chief judicial magistrate court passed the remand order when Nithyananda was produced before it following eight days of interrogation by the State CID sleuths who subjected him to questioning on several aspects, including his relationship with Tamil actress Ranjitha, and his alleged sexual activities with several ashramites.

Nithyananda’s associate Gopal Sheelum Reddy alias Bhaktananda was earlier remanded to judicial custody.

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