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Daughters ‘illegally confined’ at Nithyananda’s ashram in Ahmedabad, alleges Bengaluru couple

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They have filed a petition seeking the Gujarat High Court’s help to get back two daughters.

Controversial self-styled godman, Swamy Nithyananda, has found himself in another controversy with allegations of “illegally confining” two daughters of a Bengaluru-based couple.

A petition has been filed in the Gujarat High Court by the couple seeking the court’s help to get back two daughters allegedly “illegally confined” from an ashram set up by Nithyananda, who faces rape charges. The petition is set to be heard by the court on Wednesday.

The petitioners, Janardana Sharma and his wife, in their habeas corpus petition said they had admitted their four daughters in an educational institution run by the godman in Bengaluru in 2013 when they were in the age group of 7-15. However, their daughters were allegedly shifted to another institution in his ashram in Ahmedabad without their consent. When they learnt about this, that their daughters were this year shifted to another branch of Nithyananda Dhyanapeetham, named Yogini Sarvagyapeetham, situated on the premises of Delhi Public School in Ahmedabad, they rushed to Ahmedabad and tried to meet them, but the officials in the place did not allow them inside.

When officials of the institute refused to let them meet their daughters, the petitioners first sought the local police help. The couple could bring back their two minor daughters with the help of 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 Sharma family’s complaint, the Ahmedabad Rural police lodged an FIR against Nithyananda and other officials of the Ashram.

“Our team is probing the matter,” Ahmedabad (Rural) Superintendent of Police R.V. Asari said.

In their petition, the couple alleged that their two younger daughters were kidnapped and kept in illegal confinement for more than two weeks and were deprived of sleep.

The Sharmas have urged the court to direct the police as well the institute’s authorities to produce their daughters, who, they alleged, are being kept under “illegal confinement,” before the court and hand them over to them.

Cong. slams govt.

Meanwhile, the Gujarat Congress slammed the BJP government in the State for not initiating action against Nithyananda Ashram. “It is a well-known fact that Nithyananda enjoys protection from the State government despite the fact that many children are being confined in the ashram against the wishes of their parents,” Gujarat Congress spokesman Manish Doshi said on Tuesday.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 3:48:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bengaluru-couple-allege-daughters-illegally-confined-at-nithyanandas-ashram-in-ahmedabad/article30015627.ece

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