Today, the Gujarat High Court is set to hear Janardhana Sharma’s habeas corpus petition for his adult daughters Lopamudra and Nithyananditha, and the efforts that the police department has made to locate and bring them back. Sources reveals that Nithyananditha — the younger of Sharma’s two adult daughters — is no longer in India. The investigation establishes that the 18-year-old had crossed into Nepal even before her father approached the court.
The 18-year-old, who is believed to be currently located in the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, was in Nithyananda’s Ahmedabad Ashram Yogini Saravajanapeetham on November 1, when police went to get custody of Sharma’s two minor children, a daughter aged 15 and son aged 12 years. The near-full extent of how Nithyananditha (Nandita Sharma) left Ahmedabad and reached Trinidad to be with her sister has only now come to light.
While it was earlier believed that she was smuggled out of the ashram in a clandestine manner, Mirror has accessed new information about her flight from India in a bid to reunite with her elder sister, 21-year-old Lopamudra, now known as Tattvapriya.
Police sources said that Nithyananditha had called an Uber cab, a taxi aggregator service they regularly used, on the morning of November 3. While police officials could only state the time as being ‘early morning’ on November 3, Mirror has learnt that it was between 7 and 8:30 am.
Officials said that while CCTV footage from near the ashram or school were unavailable, they had spotted the taxi along the route and had later confirmed with the taxi aggregator and had also taken a statement from the driver of the taxi.
When asked about this, Superintendent of Police Rajendra Asari confirmed, “The girl had taken a cab early in the morning. We have taken his statement about the same.”
Sources said that the taxi took Nithyananditha to a rendezvous near Ramol overpass in Ahmedabad, where she had alighted from the taxi and changed cars.
While sources have refused to part with information regarding the ownership of this ‘other’ vehicle, Mirror was informed that this car is believed to have ferried Nithyananditha out of Ahmedabad, through North Gujarat and across the state border to Rajasthan. An official said, “The car is believed to have then headed to either Delhi or Agra and from there on to Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, and then onwards to Nepal.”
Police officials said that their efforts to search for the girl bore fruit when they wrote to the Bureau of Immigration after the HC on November 27 ordered them to produce the two girls before it.
Police were informed that Nithyananditha had indeed showed her passport and crossed into Nepal through the land route on November 5, thus leaving the country before a missing person’s report was even filed by her father.
After crossing into neighbouring Nepal, she may have caught an international flight out to Trinidad, said police. When asked about this, SP Asari said, “We have reached out to the Nepalese authorities regarding her egress from that country.”
Where are the girls now?
On November 25, Sharma’s two daughters appeared together in a Facebook Live video. Police believe they had recorded the video in Trinidad and Tobago. However, sources revealed that the earlier hunch had been misplaced.
It is believed that the two women are believed to be using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to throw the police off their scent. It is now learnt that the locations in Mauritius and Nepal were pings by the VPN, and that the two were most likely still in Trinidad itself.
Swami in the wind, too
Meanwhile, the hunt for rapeaccused Nithyananda has taken many twists and turns since he was named as primary accused in Janardhana Sharma’s FIR. The Embassy of Ecuador to India in a statement issued on December 6, categorically denied having given asylum to Nithyananda or having helped him purchase any land or island in South America. It also asserted that Ecuador had denied Nithyananda’s request for international personal protection (refuge), following which he left that country. While the police are now in limbo regarding his whereabouts, a senior official confided, “You never know, he could still be in India.” Meanwhile, sources in the police also said that Nithyananda could have left through the Nepal route on a passport from another nation.
On November 6, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had in a press conference also noted that Nithyananda’s passport, issued to him in October 2008, was cancelled before September 2018 and although he had applied for a new one, it was put on hold as the police had not given clearance for the same.