New Delhi: The Interpol has issued a Blue Corner notice against fugitive self-styled godman Nithyananda, wanted in India for alleged rape and abduction, officials said on Wednesday.
Officials told IANS that the notice was issued much before on the request of Gujarat Police to locate the controversial godman. A Blue Corner notice makes it mandatory for member countries to share whereabouts of a person involved in a crime.
Nithyananda had allegedly fled India without a passport to save himself from a rape case registered against him in Karnataka.
The Ministry of External Affairs had last year cancelled Nithyananda's passport, and also "sensitised" all its foreign missions and posts to keep track of his movements.
The MEA said Nithyananda had a passport issued in 2008 with a 10-year validity but it was cancelled before 2018. Nithyananda had applied for a fresh passport, but was denied police clearance.
Recently, Ecuador denied Nithyananda's presence and said it had rejected his request for asylum.
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 involving $4,00,000.
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.