India Cancels Nithyananda’s Passport, Equador Denies Giving Refuge
The Ministry of External Affairs on Friday stated that it has cancelled the passport of rape accused self-styled godman Nithyananda and has rejected his application for a fresh one. The MEA stated that his passport was due for renewal in September 2018 but was cancelled much before that and was not renewed.
“He applied for a fresh passport but his application was rejected because he could not get necessary clearance from the police. We’ve sensitised all our missions and posts that this man is wanted in several cases of crime. We have asked our missions to sensitise the local government.”Raveesh Kumar, MEA spokesperson
He also stated that though Nithyananda claims to have ‘founded a country,’ opening a website and creating a country are two different things.
“Setting up a website is different from creating a nation. What he has done is he has opened a website and he has claimed that he has opened a nation. I don’t think I should answer that question because a nation cannot be created just like that,” Raveesh Kumar said.
Earlier on Friday, following speculation that Nithyananda could be in Ecuador, the Central American nation issued a clarification that it never granted him refuge.
"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," a statement from an embassy official in New Delhi said.
According to the embassy, Nithyananda left for Haiti as soon as refugee status was denied. Haiti is an island nation in the Caribbean. "Moreover, Ecuador denied the request for international personal protection (refuge) made by Mr Nithyananda before Ecuador and later on, Mr Nithyananda left Ecuador presumably on his way to Haiti," it added.
When asked about possible extradition proceedings against Nithyananda, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that the ministry has not received any request about the same.”
“We can only act based on inputs which we receive from different agencies. We have not received such a request. We can only take action when such a request comes to us. As for his whereabouts, it is difficult for us to speculate on his location. It is not for MEA to go into that investigation and find him.”Raveesh Kumar, MEA spokesperson
Nithyananda has been booked for child abuse and kidnapping by the Gujarat police after three minor children (a boy and two girls) were rescued from his ashram in the outskirts of Ahmedabad. This is the second case filed against him, in addition to the rape case that was filed against him in 2010.