Facing arrest in a fresh criminal case, controversial self-styled godman Nityananda on Wednesday surrendered before a court at Ramanagar, about 40 km from Bangalore, and was remanded in one-day police custody.
Nityananda, whose whereabouts remained unknown since the latest case of assault and threat to life was registered on June 8, turned up at the judicial magistrate court surprising police who were on the lookout for him.
Magistrate Komala ordered the police custody after which Nityananda was whisked away in a police vehicle but not before he was heckled by a crowd of people who had gathered at the court premises.
Nityananda has filed a bail petition and police would produce him in the court for its hearing on Thursday, Ramanagara SP Anupam Aggarwal told PTI.
His surrender came within hours after the ashram announced he would return on Thursday and resume regular activities and the Karnataka high court adjourned hearing on his petition seeking quashing of the fresh FIR against him to June 15.
Nityananda, 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 during a press conference at his ashram at Bidadi near Bangalore.
The press meet was held in the backdrop of a US-based woman alleging that Nityananda had sexually abused her for five years, a charge that triggered public outrage and protests by Kannada groups.
Coming under intense pressure from various quarters for action against Nityananda’s ‘objectionable activities’ at his ashram, chief minister DV Sadananda Gowda had on Monday said he would be arrested in two days.
A search warrant was issued by police against him even as a high-level team of officials and police continued their searches at his ashram for the second day on Wednesday.