22:13 GMT26 January 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): In a bizarre development that shocked Indians earlier this week, self-styled 'Godman' Swami Nithyananda, who fled India last month to escape rape charges, claimed to have established his own island nation in South America near Ecuador.

    Swami Nithyananda has not been given asylum by Ecuador, nor has he been helped by the government of Ecuador in purchasing any land or island in South America near or far from Ecuador, according to a statement released by the Embassy of Ecuador in India. The self-styled Godman was presumably on his way to Haiti. 

    On Tuesday, local journalists had claimed that “Nithyananda formed a self-proclaimed country, Kailaasa, on a private island owned by him in Ecuador, South America. With the help of a famous legal advisory company from the US, he has filed a requisition to the UN for recognising his island as a country.”

    The official website of Kailaasa claims it “is a nation without borders created by dispossessed Hindus from around the world who lost the right to practice Hinduism authentically in their own countries.”

    It says Kailaasa “offers a safe haven to all the world’s practicing, aspiring or persecuted Hindus, irrespective of race, gender, sect, caste, or creed, where they can peacefully live and express their spirituality, arts and culture free from denigration, interference and violence.

    Police in India’s western state of Gujarat had said recently that Nithyananda escaped from the country after a rape case was registered against him in Karnataka.

    “Since he was a key accused in the case, he would be arrested on his return to the country.”

    His two disciples have been held and were being questioned over rape accusations. A US citizen had earlier accused the 42-year old of raping her for over five years, using spirituality as a pretext.

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    island, asylum, rape, police, Gujarat, Ecuador, India
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