Following fresh allegations of sexual exploitation of women against controversial godman Nityananda Swami, the Karnataka government ordered his Bangalore ashram to be locked, on Monday.
Chief minister DV Sadananda Gowda told media, "I have asked the district administration to seize the Dhyanapeetha ashram of Nityananda and recover all documents from there and arrest him immediately."
Gowda said legal steps would be taken to get Nityananda’s bail cancelled and have him arrested. "I have directed the police to file strong objections in the court against granting bail to Nityananda."
The move came in the wake of increasing demand for the closure of the ashram in Bidadi, 35 km from here after a TV channel started telecasting complaints by several women that they were sexually exploited by Nityananda.
Recently, a woman from Karnataka, who is settled in the US, charged Nityananda with sexual assault and cheating. Following this,protests were staged all over the state demanding strict action against the tainted swami.
Nityananda, who is already facing charges of rape, cheating, unnatural offences and criminal intimidation, has been on bail since June 2010 after he was arrested from Solan in Himachal Pradesh. He went into hiding in Solan for about a month in March-April 2010 after a TV channel aired a sex video.
After being picked by Karnataka Police he was in the Ramanagara jail for 53 days.
On Thursday, Nityananda, 32, asked a reporter to go out of the ashram after he asked inconvenient questions, which led to protests from the media. The next day, a press meet called by his disciples also ended in chaos; soon after Nityananda went missing.