An Indian guru facing rape and sexual abuse charges made headlines on Wednesday after he emerged from hiding and announced the birth of a new cosmic country with its own cabinet and golden passports.
Swami Nithyananda, a controversial self-styled godman with thousands of followers in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, posted a video on his YouTube channel announcing the special project.
The 41-year-old Nithyananda said that his country is called Kailaasa and is the biggest Hindu nation without boundaries.
"The Hindu nation exists in cosmos," he said in the now-viral video.
Indian media reports cited a website named Kailaasa.org, allegedly created by the guru, with details about his plans for Kailaasa, even as Gujarat police and other authorities investigating him for various criminal charges continue to remain clueless about his whereabouts.
The website shares details of different government departments and agencies in his make-believe country, including homeland security, commerce, treasury, housing, technology and one for enlightened civilisation.
It also gives Kailaasa its own triangular flag and an emblem with Tamil, Sanskrit and English as its main languages.
According to cyber experts, the website was created on Oct 21 last year and it was last updated on Oct 10 this year. It has been registered in Panama with its IP located in Dallas.
Though not convicted, Swami Nithyananda made national headlines in 2010 after he was arrested and jailed for 53 days over a sex scandal involving him and a regional actress.
Subsequently, other women also accused him of abusing them at his religious retreat in Karnataka.Last month, a case was registered against him in Gujarat on charges of wrongful confinement of children.
Police believe he fled the country during the investigation.
AFP, Indo-Asian News Service