Kailaasa founder Nithyananda's passport cancelled, MEA remains unaware of his whereabouts
Photo: HDH Nithyananda Paramashivam/Facebook

The government has cancelled the passport of controversial self-styled godman Nithyananda and rejected his application for fresh one, External Affairs Ministry said on Friday.

According to ANI, the passport was cancelled and a fresh application of the same was denied as he did not get the requisite clearance from police and several criminal cases have been lodged against him.

"In this case, when we got information about cases pending against him, we cancelled his passport. His passport was issued way back in October 2008 which had a validity of 10 years. It was due to expire on September 2018 but it was cancelled much before that. He again applied after the cancellation, but it was put on hold because of adverse remarks from the police," MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told reporters at a weekly briefing here.

Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar also said that the ministry has sensitised all its missions and posts abroad about Nithyananda.

We have asked them to sensitise the local governments that in case he transits or he is in that country, they should let us know," Kumar said.

Asked about the extradition process, the MEA spokesperson said that no such requests have been received from agencies.

"We can only act based on inputs we receive from different agencies. We have not received such requests. We can take action once that comes to us," Kumar said adding that it is difficult to "speculate" about his exact location.

Recently, after fleeing the country, the self-styled godman claimed to have set up his own country, Kailaasa. Although reports claimed that he had leased an island from Ecuador for the same, the Ecuadorian government has denied it.

In a statement, the Embassy of Ecuador said the country had in fact denied Nithyananda's request for asylum, and he left the country for Haiti.

The statement categorically denied 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."

"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 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 also urged people of digital or print media houses to "refrain from citing Ecuador in any form in all pieces of information related to Mr. Nithyananda".

Nithyananda's real name is Rajashekharan and he is a native of Tamil Nadu. He opened an ashram near Bengaluru in the early 2000s. His teachings were said to be based on those of Osho Rajneesh.

Last month, an FIR was registered against Nithyananda after two girls went missing from his ashram in Ahmedabad - Yogini Sarvagyapeetham. He was charged with kidnapping and wrongful confinement of children to make them collect donations from followers to run his ashram.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal

www.freepressjournal.in