Bangalore: Nithyananda returns to Bidadi ashram

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Bangalore, 12 June 2010: Self styled godman Nithyananda after spending 53 days in jail on charges of rape and financial irregularities, returned to his ashram in Bidadi on Saturday after being granted bail.

Nithyananda’s followers said that he will now spend the next few days undertaking a penance called ‘panchagni tapasya’ for  cleansing and purification. He will be joined by a few of his devotees during the tapasya.

The High Court on Friday granted conditional bail to the godman, imposing conditions stating that he cannot preach and directing him to stay within the Ramanagara district limits. Nithyananda’s passport has already been surrendered and he has to report to the Bidadi police station, once in every 15 days. Investigations will however continue and Nithyananda has been directed to cooperate with the authorities.

His disciple Bhaktananda who was also released said that the penance undertaken by Nithyananda was very severe and austere and would continue for several days. Bhaktananda described his stint in jail was the same as staying at the ashram.

Visibly relieved inmates of the ashram expressed their happiness at their Guru’s release and said that Nithyananda visited the Shiva temple on the ashram premises immediately upon his arrival. A continuous stream of visitors started arriving at the ashram, almost immediately after his arrival there.

Though it was a holiday for the Courts, upon the High Court directions, the magistrate Pushpalatha made herself available for signing the release form for the jail authorities. Nithyananda’s counsel Vivekananda Gupta said that obtaining the solvency certificate ran into some trouble as it required a tahsildar’s sign and none were to be found on a second Saturday.

By the time all the documents furnished and the order issued to the jail authorities, it was 5 pm. So palpable was the tension at the ashram before his arrival, that the ashram’s security guards refused to let a police jeep inside, accusing them of carrying reporters inside the ashram, leaving the policemen fuming.

Policemen were stationed around the ashram after his arrival to prevent any trouble. However, no untoward incidents took place. Sources in the police said that no security would be provided as of now, although the ashram has requested for additional protection.


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