Nithyananda’s disciple seeks police protection

 CHENNAI: In a fresh development in the sex scandal allegedly involving Swami Nithyananda, an employee, Nithya Dharmananda alias Lenin (45), who admitted to leaking out the sleaze tape, has been provided police security.

Lenin, who is now staying with a friend in Chennai, met the city police commissioner T Rajendran on Friday evening and sought protection from Nithyananda’s disciples, whom he alleged were attempting to eliminate him. Police said he submitted, along with a petition seeking police protection, some DVDs containing more scandalous’ footages to expose the godman. “I have directed the central crime branch (CCB) deputy commissioner of police C Sridhar to look into his petition and we will provide him protection,” city police commissioner T Rajendran told TOI. The scandal broke out on Tuesday night after a television channel telecast a tape, showing the long-haired godman in a sexual romp with a Tamil actress, triggering protest and violence in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

On Thursday, the police registered a case of cheating under Sec 420 of IPC against Nithyananda based on a complaint by a group of lawyers. On Friday, based on Lenin’s complaint, police slapped more cases against him including those under IPC sections 295 (A) (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural sex), 506 (1) (criminal intimidation) and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy). Disciples say that Nithyananda is in Varanasi attending the Kumbh Mela.

“As, according to Lenin, the alleged sexual acts of the godman in the tape took place in his Bidadi ashram in Karnataka, we will forward the petition to police in that state. We will cooperate with the investigating officials,” said Rajendran. However, the Chennai police will investigate the cases of cheating and intimidation booked against the godman, he said.

Police sources said Lenin, who hails from Salem, had joined the ashram at Bidadi as a technical staff and was assigned to make DVDs of the godman’s speeches and writings and market them to the public. After a year, he became one of the loyal devotees for the godman with access even to his bedroom, Lenin told police.

But devotion to the godman turned to anger following alleged sexual misdemenours of the godman, Lenin reportedly told the Chennai police. “This prompted me to expose the godman, who has been cheating the public and innocent woman devotees,” said Lenin, who alleged that he had taped the sexual acts of the godman with the actress in December 2009. On learning about this, the godman and his devotees threatened him with dire consequences in Seeragapadi near Salem when they were taking part in a function to inaugurate a new ashram. Later, he made copies of the sleaze tape and sent them to some media offices and police officials, said sources.

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