Swamis and Scandals

Swami Paramhansa Nityanand: The founder of the Nityanand mission, which claims to have 1,000 branches across 33 countries, has been untraceable since certain Tamil TV channels recently aired a video which allegedly shows him in a compromising position with a Tamil actress. Nityanand, who has ashrams in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Puducherry, hails from Tamil Nadu and has a sprawling ashram in Bidadi, 30 km from Bangalore. He claims to lead a worldwide movement for meditation and peace. Lenin Karuppan, a former disciple, has said that he shot the video to expose the swami. Lenin has alleged that his life has been under threat from the swami, adding that he also suspected foul play behind the death of a woman inmate a year ago. In the complaint filed with Chennai City Police Commissioner T Rajendran, Lenin, who claimed to be an inmate of the ashram in Bangalore since 2006, said the swami used to lure young women devotees claiming that he was the reincarnation of Lord Krishna.

Anup Kumar Sahay: A self-proclaimed godman in Ghaziabad, he was booked on Sunday for abducting his cousin. According to a complaint filed by Subha Srivastava, mother of the victim, the accused along with his brother Ashok Kumar Sahay abducted her daughter Priyanka Srivastava on February 15. The self-proclaimed godman has been booked under sections 363, 313 and 366 of the IPC which pertain to kidnapping and forcing a woman to undergo abortion without her will.

Kripaluji Maharaj: Ram Kripal Tripathi aka Kripaluji Maharaj, at whose ashram near Pratapgarh in UP 63 people died in a stampede last week, was charged with kidnapping and rape in two cases in Nagpur in 1991. He was acquitted after the witnesses turned hostile. He was arrested in 2007 after a Guyanese woman in South Trinidad filed a rape case against him.

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