Locals attack Chennai ashram of godman Nithyananda alleging encroachment, lewd remarks
Tension prevailed at Zamin Pallavaram on Sunday as an angry crowd ransacked an ashram of the controversial godman Swami Nithyananda alleging the ashram had been built by encroaching the street used by
CHENNAI: Tension prevailed at Zamin Pallavaram on Sunday as an angry crowd ransacked an ashram of the controversial godman Swami Nithyananda alleging the ashram had been built by encroaching the street used by locals.
They also alleged that a few Nithyananda’s followers were passing lewd comments on local women.
The local residents ransacked the premises and even toppled a car belonging to the ashram at Pachaiamman Nagar near Tirusulam.
Based on the complaint by both sides, police arrested C Gopi, a Nithyananda follower, and nine others on charges of damaging the ashram property.
Police said the crux of the dispute was over a piece of land measuring around 2.15 acres, donated by Valli, a devotee of Nithyananda, to set up the ashram.
However, the particular land is said to be under a property dispute since another person also claimed ownership of it.
Even as the dispute was pending, the ashram’s followers allegedly fenced off the land and portions of the street passing near it causing hardship to local residents.
What triggered the attack on the ashram was the comments allegedly made by a Nithyananda follower against a woman when she was crossing the ashram on Sunday.
On getting information about the attack, police questioned three of Nithyananda’s followers and 15 local residents. After enquiries, police have arrested Gopi and nine local residents.