Other States

Trace women missing from Nithyananda Ashram: HC

Nithyananda, file photo.

Nithyananda, file photo.   | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

Gujarat police asked to consult Interpol and External Affairs Ministry, as well as other agencies, to find the two women

The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday directed the State police to trace two women who went missing from the Nithyananda Ashram in Ahmedabad. The court was acting on a habeas corpus petition filed by the women’s father Janardhan Sharma.

A Division Bench of Justices S.R. Brahmbhatt and A.P. Thaker directed the police to consult Interpol and the Ministry of External Affairs, as well as other agencies, to find the two women, ensure their protection from any threat, and assure them that their independent will and choice would be respected by the judiciary.

The court has posted the matter for hearing on December 10.

Escaped abroad?

Meanwhile, during the hearing on Tuesday, the police told the court that they had suspected that Lopamudra Sharma (21) and Nandhitha Sharma (18), daughters of Mr. Sharma who filed the habeas corpus, might have escaped abroad.

In his petition, Mr. Sharma contended that his daughters were being ‘illegally confined’ by inmates of the Nithyananda Ashram.

Video claim

The sisters have occasionally, through a video messaging service using a proxy network, claimed that they were fine and did not want to meet their parents and even accused the parents of trying to intimidate them.

The court said these videos shared by the duo could not be relied upon at this point of time. It cannot be said the statements were not being made under pressure. No documents or videos directly sent by them would be considered at this point of time, it said, and ordered the police to produce the sisters before the court.

Mr. Sharma in his petition alleged that the authorities of a branch of Nithyananda Dhyanpeetham, named ‘Yogini Sarvagyapeetham’, situated on the premises of Delhi Public School in Ahmedabad, did not let them meet their four daughters enrolled there.

While the police managed to rescue two of their minor daughters from Yogini Sarvagyapeetham, Lopamudra and Nandhitha had gone missing.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 10:20:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/trace-women-missing-from-nithyananda-ashram-hc/article30090126.ece

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