In the wake of reports of fugitive godman Nithyananda forming a nation on an island near Ecuador, the Latin American nation on Friday denied that it has given asylum to any person wanted in India for alleged rape and abduction.
The embassy of Ecuador, in a statement, said the country had, in fact, denied Nithyananda's request for asylum. The controversial godman left Ecuador for Haiti thereafter, the statement added.
The statement read: "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. "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 said that all the information "published in digital and print media in India is based on the information which allegedly has been sourced from https://kailaasa.org, a website which is supposedly maintained by Mr. Nithyananda or by his people".
It urged digital or print media houses to "refrain from citing Ecuador in any form in all pieces of information related to Mr. Nithyananda".
The statement comes days after Nithyananda announced the creation of Kailaasa, a "Hindu homeland", on an island purchased from Ecuador.
Nithyananda is wanted in India for illegal confinement of children. A charge-sheet has also been filed against him in a rape case. He had allegedly fled India without a passport to save himself from a rape case registered against him in Karnataka.
Nithyananda's real name is Rajashekharan and he is a native of Tamil Nadu. He opened an ashram near Bengaluru in the early 2000s. His teachings were said to be based on those of Osho Rajneesh.
In 2010 a video of him in a compromising position with an actress emerged online and he was later arrested on charges of rape. He was also arrested and charge-sheeted in a separate case of rape later.
According to reports, Nithyananda is now being investigated by French authorities for alleged fraud worth $400,000.
Last month, an FIR was registered against Nithyananda after two girls went missing from his ashram in Ahmedabad - Yogini Sarvagyapeetham. He was charged with kidnapping and wrongful confinement of children to make them collect donations from followers to run his ashram.