A couple in Gujarat has sought help from the high court in the state to get back their two daughters aged 21 and 18 who they’ve accused the rape accused baba Swami Nithyananda of kidnapping them.
Last year in June, a court in Karnataka had framed charges against Nithyananda in a rape case.
Petitioners Janardana Sharma and his wife, according to news agency PTI, told the court that they had enrolled their four daughters aged between 7 and 15 at an educational institution run by Nithyananda in Bengaluru in 2013. However, all four girls were shifted to another branch of Nithyananda Dhyanpeetham, named Yogini Sarvagyapeetham, earlier this year. The branch in question was run from the premises of Delhi Public School in Ahmedabad. The school’s CEO Manjula Pooja Shroff is a known follower of Nithyananda, reported Ahmedabad Mirror.
When the family learnt that their daughters had been shifted to their home state, they decided to meet them. But Sharmas alleged that the authorities denied them access to their own daughters prompting them to approach the cops.
With the help from the police, they managed to get their under-age daughters back home, but their elder daughters namely Lopamudra Janardhana Sharma and Nandhita, now 21 and 18 respectively, refused to leave the ashram.
The Sharmas have alleged in the petition to the Gujarat High Court that their daughters were kidnapped, kept in illegal confinement and deprived of sleep. The parents have also filed an FIR with the police.
The Sharmas have sought the court’s help to get their daughters’ custody back and direct a thorough probe into other minors kept at the ashram.
Meanwhile, the police have said that the two daughters have told them that they were staying at the ashram of their own choice. “Based on a complaint we received from Sharma on November 1, we have also taken a statement from another daughter who is 19 years old. She says she is in the ashram on her own and is not willing to go with the father. The statement from the ashram committee also says she is associated with the ashram and is currently on tour,” deputy SP HS Sarda was quoted by news18.