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Have not received any request for Nithyananda’s extradition, says MEA

Nithyananda/ File photo.

Nithyananda/ File photo.   | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

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Neither the Gujarat police nor the Home Ministry has reportedly sent formal requests to MEA in the Nithyananda case.

Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday that it has not received any request to seek the extradition of controversial self-styled godman Nithyananda, who had fled India following allegations of kidnapping and abusing minor girls.

“Agencies normally report to MEA about fleeing offenders. Our role is to act on the advice of the agencies. In this case, the person who has apparently absconded is a fugitive. We have to be informed by agencies concerned that the person is living in a particular country. As per standard practice, based on the request for extradition from agencies, we start the process. We approach foreign governments and inform them about criminal antecedents of the person,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said here.

“To the best of my knowledge, we have not received information from any agencies about the man. Once we receive that, we will be happy to cooperate with that agency,” said Mr. Kumar.

The MEA officials were here as part of their engagement with the regional media. Nikhilesh Giri, Joint Secretary at MEA, and Garima Paul, Under Secretary at MEA, also spoke.

Neither the Gujarat police nor the Home Ministry has reportedly sent formal requests to MEA in the Nithyananda case. There is also no clarity if he possesses a passport. A passport was last issued to him in 2008 and it was subsequently cancelled when complaints were lodged against him. His request for passport renewal could not be entertained due to adverse entries. It is also not clear which country he had escaped to.

Tamil Nadu-born Nithyananda hit the headlines when a sleaze video allegedly involving him and an actress went viral in 2010. He was arrested the same year. Recently, Janardhana Sharma, a former disciple, lodged a police complaint that his two daughters were being held in captivity by Nithyananda. Mr. Sharma had enrolled his four daughters at Nithyananda Dhyanapeetham near Bengaluru in 2013. However, all four were shifted to Ahmadabad without prior information to their parents. Later, two daughters returned to the family, while the whereabouts of the other daughters were not known.

Nithyananda was recently in the news after his reported attempt to found an independent nation called ‘Kailaasa’ near Ecuador in Latin America.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 11:14:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/have-not-received-any-request-for-nithyanandas-extradition-says-mea/article30195203.ece

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