As the search for self styled godman Nithyananda continues, Gujarat police believe that he may have fled to South America and may be in hiding there. TNM had earlier reported that he could be in Ecuador. Nithyananda has been booked for child abuse and kidnapping by the Gujarat police after three minor children (a boy and two girls) were rescued from his ashram in the outskirts of Ahmedabad. This is the second case filed against him, in addition to the rape case that was filed against him in 2010.
According to the Gujarat police, Nithyananda fled the country before September 2018 as his passport expired on September 30, 2018 and was not renewed owing to the rape case against him. Nithyananda's passport (Number Z-1864348) was issued from Bengaluru office on October 1, 2008 and was valid till September 30, 2018.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (Ahmedabad rural) KT Kamariya told IANS, “The Bengaluru passport office has confirmed that accused's passport was not renewed. He, however, had applied for renewal but could not get the NOC (no objection certificate).”
The sources also said the investigation revealed that Nithyananda escaped from the country before the renewal date of his passport approached. The Gujarat Police believe that Nithyananda is hiding himself somewhere in South America. India has extradition treaties with some of the countries in south America, like Brazil and Chile.
Now, the question arose that if Nithyananda had succeeded to flee from India, why was he in a hurry for the passport renewal? Secondly, If passport could not be renewed, so how did he escape? Or he escaped before September 30, 2018?
"We are also trying to solve these riddles," said Kamariya.
A senior Gujarat Police officer, on the condition of anonymity, said: "The investigation so far have revealed that as the matter came before the court, the accused tried every possible trick to evade arrest, hence, he reached in the Kumbh 2018. But till then he had started hitting headlines that prompted the UP Police to keep him away from the religious gathering".
The Police had raided the Ahmedabad Ashram of the self-styled godman on Wednesday and rescued some women and children. Two women disciples of Nithyananda, who were the caretakers of the Ashram, have already been arrested by the police. A case was registered against three people -- two women and Nithyananda -- in this regard.
The Gujarat police have also learnt that Nithyananda also tried to participate in the Kumbh Mela 2018 but unfortunately his 'dirty deeds' came into the notice of the Uttar Pradesh government, which refused to allow him to participate.