Controversial self-styled godman Nityananda Swami, who is allegedly involved in a sex scandal, was on Tuesday arrested along with four followers from a village in Himachal Pradesh’s Solan district.
The 32-year-old ‘godman’ had been hiding in Mamlig village for about a month, police said.
The Karnataka-based Nityananda had been on the run since March 23 when the Karnataka High Court rejected his plea for anticipatory bail and quashing of criminal cases against him.
Nityananda and another accused, Gopalsalesh Reddy, were arrested by a joint team of the Himachal Pradesh police and Bangalore police, Additional Director General of Police I.D. Bhandari, said. “He (Nityananda) was staying in a rented house for the past month.”
Three other people, who were likely Nityananda followers and were staying with him, were also arrested, Bhandari said.
The five were taken to the police’s CID headquarters in Shimla. Sources said that the police also seized Rs 3 lakh, $ 7,000, three video cameras, three laptops and eight mobile phones from them.
“The Himachal police got a fax from the Karnataka police on April 17 that they had information that Nityananda was hiding in Himachal Pradesh,” Bhandari said. “The Karnataka police came to know about Nityananda’s whereabouts through a mobile call he had made.”
Nityananda and Reddy are facing several charges including rape, committing unnatural sexual acts, criminal intimidation, hatching of a criminal conspiracy and cheating.
Video footage telecast in March had shown Nityananda getting intimate with two women, including a Tamil actress.