Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 28 January 2022 2.03 AM IST

Ecuador denies giving asylum to self-styled godman Nithyananda; MEA cancels his passport


NEW DELHI: The Embassy of Ecuador here on Friday strongly denied that it has given asylum to fugitive self-styled godman Nithyananda or helping him in purchasing any land or island in South America, "near or far from Ecuador."

"The Embassy of Ecuador categorically denies the statement wherever published that self-styled Guru Nithyananda was given asylum by Ecuador or has been helped by the Government of Ecuador in purchasing any land or island in South America near or far from Ecuador," the mission said in a statement.

"Moreover Ecuador denied the request for international personal protection (refuge) made by Nithyananda before Ecuador and later on, Nithyananda left Ecuador. All the information, whatever, which is published in digital and print media in India is based on the information which apparently has been sourced from a website which is supposedly maintained by Nithyananda or by his people," the statement added.

Earlier in the day, India said that the passport of Nithyananda was cancelled and a fresh application was denied as he did not get the requisite clearance from police and several criminal cases have been lodged against him.

"In this case, when we got information about cases pending against him, we cancelled his passport. His passport was issued way back in October 2008 which had a validity of 10 years. It was due to expire on September 2018 but it was cancelled much before that. He again applied after the cancellation, but it was put on hold because of adverse remarks from the police," MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told reporters at a weekly briefing here.

Asked on the extradition process, the MEA spokesperson said that no such requests have been received from agencies.

"We can only act based on the inputs we receive from different agencies. We have not received such requests. We can take action once that comes to us," Kumar said adding that it is difficult to "speculate" about his exact location.

Last month, the Gujarat Police said that the self-styled godman fled the country. Police in Ahmedabad had arrested two woman administrators of the ashram, allegedly owned by Nithyananda, and freed two boys who were held captive there.

Two of his disciples, Pranpriya and Priyatattva, were arrested on the basis of a complaint filed by one Janardhan Sharma who alleged that his daughter was held captive in Nithyananda's ashram.

The police took the two women to Nithyananda's ashram in Hathiajan for an investigation and seized laptops, mobile phones among other things.

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