Ahmedabad: DPS Principal Held For Leasing to Nithyananda’s Ashram

CBSE has sought a report from Gujarat Edu department on how land of a school was leased out to Nithyananda’s ashram

3 min read
Police claims Nithyananda has fled abroad

The police on Thursday, 21 November, arrested the principal of Delhi Public School (DPS) in Gujarat for violating government norms while leasing out land to controversial self-styled godman Swami Nithyananda for his ashram.

Hitesh Puri, Principal of the Delhi Public School (East), located at Hirapur village on Ahmedabad's outskirts, ignored the collector’s notification related to the matter, the police said.

School authorities failed to produce documents pertaining to informing police after leasing out land for the ashram of the controversial guru, who has been booked in a criminal case in the city, the police said.

Puri was arrested and charged under IPC section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and later released on bail, a police official said.

K T Kamariya, DySP (Ahmedabad rural), said:

“We held Puri after the school was found violating a notification issued by the district collector pertaining to owners required to inform the police when leasing out their property on rent. The school rented out its property to Nithyananda’s ashram without informing the police. He was held for flouting notification and was granted bail.”
The action comes after two co-ordinators of an organisation run by Nithyananda, ‘Yogini Sarvagyapeetham’, were arrested on charges of kidnapping, wrongful confinement, assault, among others, after four children enrolled there came out to allege they were being mistreated by the authorities. ‘Yogini Sarvagyapeetham’ is situated on the DPS premises.
Members of the Ashram locking the entry gate located within the DPS Hirapur Campus in the outskirts of Ahmedabad city.
Members of the Ashram locking the entry gate located within the DPS Hirapur Campus in the outskirts of Ahmedabad city.
Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Meanwhile, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has sought a report from the Gujarat Education department on how land of a school was leased out to self-styled godman Nithyananda's ashram in Ahmedabad without its permission, officials said on Thursday, 21 November.

The CBSE directive came on a day when the Gujarat Police informed that Nithyananda, booked in a criminal case related to his ashram, has fled the country.

A senior CBSE official said:

“The board has written to the State Education Department to inquire into the matter of leasing out land of DPS Maninagar, Ahmedabad to Swami Nithyananda ashram without permission of the board. It has been asked to conduct the inquiry expeditiously and convey the outcome of the report and status of No Objection Certificate (NOC) issued by the state department to the school for seeking CBSE affiliation.”

The school's principal Hitesh Puri, when contacted before his arrest said, "we have terminated the lease agreement." He, however, did not comment on whether permission was sought from the board before leasing out the land.

An FIR was registered against Nithyananda on Wednesday, 20 November, on charges of alleged kidnapping and wrongful confinement of children to make them collect donations from followers to run his ashram.

The police also arrested Sadhvi Pranpriyananda and Priyatatva Riddhi Kiran, both women disciples of the controversial ‘godman’, on charges of allegedly kidnapping at least four children, keeping them in illegal confinement in a flat and using them as child labourers to promote activities of the ashram to collect donations.

Ahmedabad (Rural) Superintendent of Police R V Asari said Nithyananda has fled abroad, and if required, the Gujarat police will seek his custody through proper channel.

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