Bengaluru

Gujarat police search Nithyananda’s Bidadi ashram

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They were looking for two missing girls who were enrolled in his institution

A team of police officers from Gujarat, on Saturday, searched an ashram in Bidadi owned by controversial self-styled godman Swami Nithyananda in search of two missing girls who were enrolled in his institution.

The Ramanagar police provided security cover to the Gujarat team. “However, there was no sign of the girls,” said a senior police officer.

Earlier this month, Janardhan Sharma, father of the missing girls, had approached the Gujarat High Court seeking help alleging that his daughters had been ‘illegally confined’. He had admitted his four daughters to an educational institution run by the godman in Bengaluru in 2013 when they were in the age group of 7-15. They were allegedly shifted to another institution in his ashram in Ahmedabad without his consent.

When authorities of the institute refused to let the parents meet their daughters, they sought help from the local police. The couple retrieved two of their minor daughters with the help of the police and Protection of Child Rights Commission. But their elder daughters, Lopamudra Janardhana Sharma, 21, and Nandhita, 18, refused to come with them.

Based on the HC’s directions, the police filed an FIR against Nithyananda and others, and arrested two of his disciples Sadhvi Pran Priyananda and Priyatatva Riddhi Kiran on the charges of kidnapping at least four children, keeping them in illegal confinement in a flat and using them as child labourers to promote the activities of the ashram.

Nithyananda is absconding.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 9:01:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/gujarat-police-search-nithyanandas-bidadi-ashram/article30125804.ece

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