Hours after being freed, Indian guru back in custody


Indian police on Thursday detained a popular guru facing a series of assault and sexual abuse charges, just hours after he was set free on bail, saying the “godman” faced threats to his life.
Swami Nithyananda was released from police custody after lodging a 50,000 rupee ($900) bond at the court in Ramanagar, 35 kilometres (20 miles) from Bangalore, but within hours he was back inside again, an officer said.
Police inspector-general Bhaskar Rao told AFP there was the likelihood of “breach in public peace and danger to his own life because there is lot of resentment due to his alleged misconduct”.
“If he is free, Nithyananda will return to his ashram and then we would have to provide hundreds of policemen to protect him so it is better he stays in safe custody,” Rao said. The 35-year-old was initially taken into custody on Wednesday for questioning over accusations of assault at a press conference and separate allegations of sex abuse at his retreat in the southern state of Karnataka.
Nithyananda, one of many Hindu gurus in India who attract large numbers of devoted followers, earlier Thursday had walked out of court smiling and thanked his cheering supporters after being granted bail.