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Nithyananda gets bail in assault case

June 14, 2012 19:04 IST
Controversial self-styled godman Nithyananda, arrested in an assault case, was granted bail by a Ramanagara court on Thursday by judicial first class magistrate Komala.

Nithyananda was sent to one-day police custody on Wednesday after he surrendered before the court in Ramanagara, about 40 km from Bengaluru. He had later filed a bail petition.

The self-styled godman, already facing criminal charges including rape and out on bail after his arrest in 2010, courted fresh trouble when police on June 8 booked him and his followers for allegedly assaulting a mediaperson during a press conference at his ashram at Bidadi near Bengaluru.

The press meet was held against the backdrop of a United States-based woman alleging that Nithyananda had sexually abused her for five years, a charge that triggered public outrage and protests by Kannada groups.

A search warrant was issued by police against him even as a high-level team of officials and police continued their searches at his ashram.

In a related development, Nithyananda filed a petition in the Karnataka high court claiming Rs 10 crore from the state government for alleged damage caused to properties in his ashram during the ongoing search operations by police and officials.

Nithyananda has filed the writ petition against Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda, the deputy commissioner and assistant commissioner Ramanagar, superintendent of police Ramanagar, the Bidadi police and a regional news channel.

He contended that the chief minister had "no authority to direct the police to seize the ashram" and had done so "under pressure from anti-social elements".

Nithyananda also prayed for a direction for lifting the seizure of the ashram by authorities.

He submitted that though there was an injunction against the news channels not to broadcast anything defamatory against him, the particular regional channel had violated the order.

Authorities are conducting searches in the ashram in the wake of allegations that objectionable activities were taking place there and a complaint by a US-based woman that she was sexually abused by Nithyananda for five years.

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