Bangalore, Feb 1 (IANS) Self-styled godman Swami Nityananda Tuesday claimed that he faced blackmail bids by some people in positions of power to cough up a whopping Rs.100 crore for not releasing a sex romp video allegedly involving him and an actress.
“In the days ahead of telecasting the video clippings on local television channels March 3, 2010, I was threatened and blackmailed by some powerful people to pay Rs.100 crore or else get exposed. The ransom was reduced to Rs.60 crore later,” he told reporters at his ashram in Bidadi, about 40 km from here.
Denying that he was the person shown in the video tapes with a woman, Nityananda said when he refused to succumb to blackmail, they released the tapes which were manipulated and morphed using digital technology.
“Though I was harassed and arrested by state police in Himachal Pradesh a month later (April 21), till this day police and the investigating authorities failed to produce any evidence of sexual abuse by me. I have been made an accused without any victim complaining against me to police,” Nityananda said at an hour-long interaction with the media.
The self-styled godman, however, did not name the “politically” powerful people behind his former driver Lenin Karuppan, who released the video clippings to local television channels in Tamil Nadu.
Refuting the charges that he had physically abused his devotees, especially women, the 32-year-old godman said all his life he was celibate and never had physical relationship with anyone or consumed alcohol or ate non-vegetarian food.
“A conspiracy was hatched to destroy my image, attack my ashrams and followers. I have evidence against those powerful people who were behind these violent acts against me and my followers. I will submit them as evidence in the courts where cases are still pending against me,” he said.
Slamming police for harassing him and his devotees, the godman charged that even after 10 months of investigations and interrogations they failed to produce any evidence against him.
“I am being persecuted by police in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in collusion with these powerful elements who claim to have political backing. I will expose all of them soon legally and morally. I have nothing to hide,” Nityananda said.