More than 10 days since various media publications and whistle blowers speculated that self-styled godman and rape-accused Nithyananda was in Ecuador, the Central American nation has denied such a development.
Speaking to TNM, an embassy official in New Delhi said the country denied him protection by refusing to gave him refugee status.
In a detailed statement, the embassy said, "The Embassy of Ecuador categorically denies the statement, wherever published, that self-styled Guru Nithyananda was given asylum by Ecuador or has been helped by the government of Ecuador in purchasing any land or island in South America near or far from Ecuador."
According to the embassy, Nithyananda left to Haiti as soon as refugee status was denied. Haiti is an island nation in the Caribbean. "Moreover, Ecuador denied the request for international personal protection (refuge) made by Mr. Nithyananda before Ecuador and later on, Mr. Nithyananda left Ecuador presumably on his way to Haiti," it added.
It said that all the information "published in digital and print media in India is based on the information which allegedly has been sourced from https://kailaasa.org, a website which is supposedly maintained by Mr. Nithyananda or by his people".
It urged digital or print media houses to "refrain from citing Ecuador in any form in all pieces of information related to Mr. Nithyananda".
Nithyananda has been absconding since mid-2018 when charges were framed against him in a rape case that was being heard by a court in Bengaluru. Whistle blowers have speculated that he went to Nepal, where Indians can travel without a passport. And from there, whistle blowers claim he travelled to a South American nation on a fake Venuzuealen passport arranged by one of his followers.
Ministry of External Affairs officials earlier said that Nithyananda did not leave the country legally through any of the sea ports or airports in India. A copy of Nithyananda’s passport accessed by TNM shows it was due to expire in September 2018 and was not renewed due to the rape charges.
A section of whistle blowers speculates that Nithyananda is currently in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago where some of his devotees from India are due to travel shortly via Singapore.
Nithyananda is accused of raping his former disciple under the garb of spirituality. The trial for the case which was registered in 2010 began in 2018. Nithyananda has been booked under sections 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural sex), 420 (cheating), 114 (criminal abetment), 201 (disappearance of evidence, giving false information),120B (criminal conspiracy) and other sections under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
He was successful in exploiting legal loopholes and delayed the trial for close to a decade.
More recently, he is wanted by Gujarat Police in a child abuse and abduction case. His whereabouts remain a subject of speculation even though his videos surface regularly on social media.
Nithyananda was recently booked by the Gujarat police under sections 365 (abduction), 344 (wrongful confinement), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code and under Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act. Two of his associates are also in jail in connection with the same case.
There have been reports of Nithyananda approaching Central American nation Belize for citizenship as well.
Gujarat Police sources have confirmed to TNM that the Interpol has not been approached regarding Nithyananda as of now as reported by some media outlets.
(With IANS inputs)