GUJARAT: Self-styled controversial godman Swami Nithyananda, is said to have fled the country, after a criminal case was filed against him on the charges of kidnapping and wrongful confinement of children in his ashram at Yogini Sarvagyapeetham.

Gujarat police have arrested two of his disciples Pranpriya and Priyatatva, after two children aged 9 to 10 years staying at the ashram told the police that they were tortured and kept in illegal confinement at a flat in the city for over ten days to make them collect donations from followers to run the ashram.

Officials are also under the assumption that he might fled the country and fled to either Ecaudor or Brazil via Nepal, after the case was registered.

Police are also investigating the case of a woman missing from Nithyananda's ashram here after a complaint was registered by her father Janardhana Sharma at the Vivekanand police station.

The accused persons have been booked under sections 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent to secretly and wrongfully confine a person), 344 (wrongful confinement for ten or more days), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), and 502 (sale of printed or engraved substance containing defamatory matter) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

They have also been booked under section 14 of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, the police officer said. Nithyananda is also an accused in an alleged rape case filed against him in Karnataka in 2010.

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