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Tainted ‘Swami’ Nithyananda honoured at Maha Kumbh

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TNI Bureau: Controversial spiritual leader Swami Nithyananda has been bestowed the title of ‘Mahamandaleshwar’ at the ongoing Maha Kumbh mela in Allahabad despite allegation of sex CD.

He was conferred the title, which is given to those saints who are believed to have attained the Godly qualities, by Panchayati Akhara Mahanirvani.

Other groups of saints opposed the decision after the head of the Akhara, Swami Vishwadevanand Puri, honoured him on Tuesday.

However, mahant Ravindra Puri justified the decision saying there was an allegation that the saints from south India were not conferred any titles by the Akhara.

Other Akharas strongly reacted against giving him the title of ‘Mahamandaleshwar’ saying the dignity of the post should be preserved. Mahant Narendra Giri, secretary of Niranjani Akhara, said that Swami Nithyananda against who so many charges have been slapped and who was involved in sexual activities, should not be conferred the highest title.

Nithyananda is better known as ‘sex swami’ after the sting operation by a local TV channel caught him with actress Ranjitha at his Dhyanapeetam ashram in Bidadi near Bangalore in March 2010. On the CD he was seen in a compromising position with the actress. He had tried to escape to avoid arrest. However, he was nabbed by police in Arki, Himachal Pradesh a month later. The case is pending in the court.

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