Chennai: Lenin Karuppannan and Aarthi Rao must be relieved now, if not quite on cloud nine. The two former disciples of Nithyananda have been running from one court to another after he filed "multiple foisted cases" in various courts in India and the US "in retaliation to the leaking of the (sex) video" showing him with an actress in his bedroom at the Bidadi ashram in Karnataka. Now with the various official agencies getting ‘sensitised’ to all these charges of rape, sodomy and financial frauds popping up against the self-proclaimed Lord Shiva and his two victims should be sighting the end of their dark tunnel.
"We feel vindicated", said Lenin, taking some time off from his discussions with lawyers at Bengaluru to speak to DC. "We (he and Ms Rao) were the first to expose his evil doings in the ashram in early 2010 (his video was in the media in March that year) and for that, we were hounded by Nithyananda with cases all over. Hardly anyone helped us. At least now, let there be justice".
The eluding ‘justice’ might happen, after all, when the Third Additional Sessions Court in Ramanagara takes up Lenin’s complaint, filed before the Chennai Police Commissioner way back in March 2010 and transferred to Bengaluru for probe by the Karnataka CID. The court had granted bail to the godman in this case but subsequent proceedings have been rather slow - Nithyananda had ignored summons to be present during the last 43 hearings.
Sources said the prosecution would seek cancellation of the bail and issuance of warrant of arrest. The execution of such an order from the court should not be difficult considering that the godman allegedly fled the country despite his passport being cancelled by the Foreign Ministry and obviously used illegal getaway route avoiding the authorised land, air and sea exit points. Also, the statement from the Ecuador Embassy in Delhi must help the authorities - that is, if they are willing to crack the whip at least now. Besides, the fugitive’s saffron umbrella appears fractured now; his lies-ridden petition to the UN Commission for Human Rights accusing a whole lot of people and parties had named the BJP, RSS and Bajrang Dal.
Reflecting on the decade-long misery that the godman had subjected her through his false cases in various courts - he had accused her of attempting to blackmail him, besides other charges - Aarthi Rao told DC: "I have spent all my financial resources on these cases. I spent money that I did not have by borrowing. My entire life has crumbled because of this one man. However, I am now regaining my long-lost hope".
In Lenin’s case filed against Nithyananda soon after the ‘sex video’ shot by him with help from her inside the godman’s bedroom secretly,
Ms Rao became a prosecution witness after she deposed before the Bengaluru CID in August 2010. "The charge sheet in that case was filed in November (2010) and that made Nithyananda aware of my role in the exposure. The hounding began after that", she recalled.
According to Lenin, many ‘followers’ are now in touch with him after the recent outbreak of scams, particularly the crackdown on the ashram by the Gujarat police and the arrest of two prominent women inmates following a complaint from a parent that his two daughters have been taken away by the godman to Ecuador. The complainant, a former disciple himself, has been meeting various political leaders and officials seeking help to get back the girls, one aged 21 and the other aged 18.
"The very same people who, under the influence of Nithyananda, had earlier called us dirty names and accused us of being anti-Hindu, are now coming out in our support. Once some decisive action is taken against the fugitive rape-accused, these persons will start speaking openly about the atrocities done in the ashrams", said Lenin.
Lenin’s hope has a painful corollary. Does it have to get really loud and murky on multiple public forums for the justice delivery system in our great country wake up to its Constitutional responsibilities? Is it not truth that’s getting distressingly stronger that the rich and powerful could get away with murder while a commoner could be jailed double-quick for ‘just picking a pocket for 40 rupees to buy medicine for his ailing kid’? And would that explain in some way the public jubilation at the ‘encounter’ shooting-down of the four rape accused in Hyderabad on Friday?