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Nithyananda booked for assaulting scribe

June 08, 2012 19:35 IST
In fresh trouble for controversial godman Nithyananda, police have lodged criminal cases against him and his followers for allegedly assaulting a mediaperson during a press conference at his ashram.

The first information reports were filed on complaints from a regional TV channel reporter and activists of Nava Nirmana Sene in connection with an altercation at Nithyananda's ashram in Bidadi in Ramanagara District on Thursday night, police said.

On a counter complaint by two followers of Nithyananda, the police also registered two FIRs against the reporter and activists of the Sene for alleged outrage of modesty, physical assault and threat to life, they said. "Four FIRs were lodged in the Bidadi police station in connection with an altercation at Nithyananda's ashram," Ramanagara Superintendent of Police Anupam Agarwal said.

Nithyananda is facing criminal charges, including rape, on complaints from some former disciples last year. He was arrested and later released on bail.

The reporter in his complaint against Nithyananda and four of his followers alleged that he was assaulted and threatened after he asked a question at a press conference convened by the godman in the backdrop of charges of sexual abuse leveled against him by a United States-based woman.

Later, some activists belonging to the local outfit Nava Nirmana Sene staged a protest outside the ashram protesting the "assault" of the reporter and demanding justice.

Meanwhile, some activists belonging to Karnataka Rakshana Vedike  allegedly barged into the Ashram and protested against Nithyananda, resulted in a verbal altercation between them and the followers, police said.

The police rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control.

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