Interpol issues Blue Corner Notice against Nithyananda

Interpol has issued a Blue Corner Notice seeking information about controversial self-styled godman Nithyananda who is believed to have fled the country after registration of a case in November last year for wrongful confinement and abduction of three children living in his ashram near Ahmedabad, police said on Wednesday.

The details about the Blue Corner Notice were mentioned in the chargesheet filed by the Ahmedabad Rural Police in a local court on Wednesday.

A Blue Corner Notice is issued by the international police cooperation body to collect additional information from its member countries about a person's identity, location or activities in relation to a crime.

Police are now trying to get a Red Corner Notice issued against the godman by the Interpol, a senior police officer said.

Nithyananda is believed to have fled the country after an FIR was registered against him at Vivekanand Nagar police station in Ahmedabad district in November last year, he said.

The chargesheet was filed on the basis of the FIR registered against the controversial godman and two of his women disciples on the charges of wrongful confinement and abduction of two girls and a boy living in his ashram in Hirapur village on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.

As per the chargesheet, filed in the court of chief judicial magistrate, the women followers of the godman and minor girls living in his ashram were made to dance at "any time during nights".

The children at the ashram were forced into labour work like preparing and uploading "Swamiji's videos on social media platforms", it stated.

Children were even thrashed by the Ashram staff if they couldn't achieve various "targets" set for them, the chargesheet said.

It stated that around Rs 10 lakh collected from people with the help of children were transfered to various bank accounts of the ashram.

"Police are trying to get a Red Corner Notice issued against the controversial godman, who is believed to have fled the country after registration of the FIR in November," said Deputy SP, Ahmedabad Rural police, K T Kamariya.

The officer said the Interpol issued the Blue Corner Notice against Nithyananda in early January declaring him as "wanted".

"Now, we are working to get a Red Corner Notice issued against the godman by the Interpol. For that procedure, we will acquire an arrest warrant from the court under section 70 of the CrPC," Kamariya told reporters here.

He added that these details were mentioned in the chargesheet.

Nithyananda and the women disciples--Pranpriya and Priyatatva who used to manage the affairs of his Hirapur ashram-- were slapped with the charges of kidnapping and wrongful confinement of children so as to make them collect donations from followers for running the ashram.

While the women were arrested, Nithyananda has been on the run.

The trio were booked under sections 365 (kidnapping), 344 (wrongful confinement), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

"The section 14 of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 was also invoked against them," the police officer said.

Nithyananda is also an accused in an alleged rape case in Karnataka.

"We have filed a chargesheet against the two women and Nithyananda, who was born as A. Rajasekaran, showing him as the key conspirator in the case. He has been declared as 'wanted'. Though he is believed to have fled the country, we don't have any specific information about his present whereabouts," said Kamariya.

While police continue to look for him, reports emerged in December last year that he has created a Hindu nation, Kailaasa, with its own flag and political setup, on an island near Ecuador.