Three disciples of Nithyananda arrested

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Nithyananda meditation
Bangalore, Feb 25: Three disciples of self-styled godman Nithyananda were arrested at his ashram in Ramnagaram district for obstructing police who were conducting investigations into criminal cases against him.

"The three disciples were arrested from the Godman's ashram in Bidadi last night as they obstructed police investigating criminal cases filed against the godman," Superintendent of Police Ramnagaram SP Bisnalli said.

All three were produced before a local court and remanded to judicial custody, he said.

Another disciple, against whom a case has been filed in the same connection (obstruction of police duty) could not be traced at the ashram and efforts are on to nab him, he said.

Bisnalli said a police team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police CID, Ramalingappa, the Investigation Officer in these cases, had gone to the ashram to get a sample signature of a lady disciple, Maha Nitya Sadananda.

On their arrival, they were asked for a search warrant, to which they said it was not needed as they only wanted a sample signature. The disciplies refused them entry, despite persistent requests, saying Sadananda was not there, he said.

Following the arrest, Nityananda's disciples have launched an indefinite fast since last night to protest against what they termed as "blatant and unreasonable religious persecution and to regain our right to religious freedom."

"This outrageous act of arresting our family members without any instigation or reason has outraged and pained us beyond words", the organisation said in a statement.

PTI

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