Protest against Nithyananda

Pro-Kannada outfits, NGOs, a mutt seer and IT professionals staged a protest demanding that Nithyananda be sent out of Karnataka.

Updated: Jun 16, 2012, 18:42 PM IST

Bangalore: Pro-Kannada outfits, NGOs, a mutt seer and IT professionals today staged a protest here demanding that controversial self-styled godman Nithyananda be sent out of Karnataka.

Shouting slogans against Nithyananda who was granted conditional bail in a criminal case, the protesters, including Kalika Mutt seer Rishi Kumar, demanded that the self-styled godman, embroiled in several cases including rape, be sent out of the state.

Nithyananda was on Friday released from Mysore Central Prison hours after he was granted bail by the District Executive Magistrate.

The self-styled godman, already facing criminal charges including rape and out on bail after his arrest in 2010, courted fresh trouble when police on June 8 booked him and his followers for allegedly assaulting a mediaperson at a press conference at his ashram in nearby Bidadi.

The press meet was held against the backdrop of a US-based woman alleging that Nithyananda had sexually abused her for five years, a charge that triggered public outrage and protests by Kannada groups.

Meanwhile, Nithyananda arrived at the Madurai Adheenam, a 1,500-year old Saivaite mutt, in Tamil Nadu to a rousing reception by his disciples.

Nithyananda was recently anointed as the junior head of the mutt by its chief Arunagirinadhar, a move which triggered protests from various quarters, including heads of several other mutts in the state.

On his arrival at the mutt in Madurai, Nithyananda was welcomed by the senior pontiff who garlanded him saying "you have got a new lease of life" even as his followers burst crackers and distributed sweets.

Addressing their disciples, both the senior pontiff and Nithyananda said "This (getting bail) is our first victory."

Nithyanandha was expected to stay in Madurai till he come clear of the problems in Karnataka, one of his close disciples said.