Bangalore: With the whereabouts of controversial self-styled godman Nithyananda, facing arrest on criminal charges, remaining unknown, and police continued their search at his ashram at Bidadi near here for the second day on Wednesday.

Ramanagar District Deputy Commissioner Srirama Reddy led the search team along with police and went round various places in the 22-acre ashram, Dhyanapeetam.

According to sources, police elicited some information from the employees on the activities of the ashram.

Police launched the search yesterday, a day after Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said action would be taken against the self-styled godman who courted fresh controversy in the wake accusations by a U.S.-based woman that she was sexually abused by him for five years.

Meanwhile, the ashram announced Nithyananda would return tomorrow and resume regular activities, seeking to put at rest speculations about him going into hiding after police issued search warrant to arrest him.

In a related development, Karnataka unit VHP defended Nityananda and alleged a conspiracy by some "vested interests" to tarnish the image of Hindu saints including him.

State unit VHP President T Vijay Kumar Reddy, addressing reporters, claimed that Nityananda was being targeted.

Nityananda's whereabouts have remained a mystery to police since June 7.


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