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Exploitation claims Hindu guru in custody after 5 days missing

The controversial Hindu guru Nityananda Swami, who was missing from his ashram for five days following allegations of sexual exploitation of women, has been taken into "protective custody" by Karnataka police.

BANGALORE // The controversial Hindu guru Nityananda Swami, who was missing from his ashram for five days following allegations of sexual exploitation of women, was taken into "protective custody" yesterday by Karnataka police.

Mr Nityananda, 32, who also faces rape charges, was held by police after surrendering yesterday at court in Ramanagaram.

A judge ruled he be placed in  protective custody  because of an  incident last week at his 29-acre ashram in Bidadi. He and some of his disciples fought with activists who were demonstrating after a news programme aired accusing the guru of exploiting women.

Police ordered Nityananda's arrest and closed his ashram after the incident.

Police have been searching the premises for the last two days for evidence relating to the exploitation charges. He is expected to appear in court today on those charges. A rape case against Mr Nityananda was filed in 2010 after a news programme on a Tamil TV channel that showed him in engaged in sexual acts.