Nithyananda gets bail, to walk out of jail

A court near Bangalore granted bail to self-styled godman Nithyananda on Thursday. He spent his first night in jail after surrendering on Wednesday. The self-styled godman was arrested in connection with an alleged assault on a TV reporter. He also faces new allegations of sexual abuse.

Nithyananda, who had been reportedly absconding for days, surrendered in the Ramanagara district court in Karnataka on Wednesday. He was sent to a day’s judicial custody. This came after the Karnataka High Court adjourned his plea for quashing the first FIR against him.

The police were on the look out for Nithyananda over allegations of sexual abuse. Nithyananda’s lawyers had moved the Karnataka High Court to quash the first FIR on Tuesday.

Nithyananda is facing criminal charges, including rape, after a slew of complaints were filed against him in 2010 after some local TV channels telecast purported videos of the self-styled godman in a compromising position with an actress. Nithyananda was arrested and later released on bail.

On June 8, the police had lodged criminal cases against Nithyananda and his followers for allegedly assaulting a mediaperson during a press conference at his ashram on complaints from a regional TV channel reporter and activists of local group Nava Nirmana Sene in connection with an altercation at the ashram.

On a counter complaint by two followers of Nithyananda, the police also registered two FIRs against the reporter and Sene activists for alleged outrage of modesty, physical assault and threat to life.