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Madurai: Controversial godman Nithyananda sacked as pontiff

Madurai, Oct 20: In a major setback for self-styled godman Nithyananda, he has been sacked as the successor of the mutt head of Madurai Aadheenam, a 1500-year-old Saivite mutt.

His appointment as junior pontiff of the mutt invited criticism from across the country including Tamil Nadu government. Putting an end to all controversies, Madurai Aadheenam chief Sri Arunagirinathar, the 292nd head of mutt, on Friday, Oct 19 announced Nithyananda's removal from the post.

Arunagirinathar, who had faced tremendous criticism over his decision of appointing the self-styled controversial godman as his successor, seems to have learnt a lesson from deeds.

Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment department on Thursday moved a court seeking removal of Arunagirinathar himself for violating the tradition of the mutt. This move compelled Madurai Aadheenam chief to sack Nithyananda.

However, while informing about his latest decision, Arunagirinathar was quoted as saying, "You know better. I have sought police help because I feel my life is threatened due to the stay of the disciples of Nithyananda (in the mutt here)."

The head of the Madurai mutt was opposed as Nithyanada has been embroiled with controversies including rape and abduction charges.

The self-styled godman hogged limelight worldwide for the first time when a video allegedly featuring him along with a South Indian actress in a compromising position went viral on the internet and TV. Soon several rape charges and forgery cases were slapped against him.

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