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Page last updated at 14:26 GMT, Monday, 8 March 2010

Indian holy man calls sex tape 'false campaign'

At the protest against the Swami
Pictures of the holy man were burned at the protest

A Hindu holy man in India has denied any wrongdoing, days after video emerged apparently showing him engaging in sexual acts with two women.

A spokesman for Nithyananda Swami said he was at the Kumbh Mela festival and would soon "clear the air".

In a video released on Sunday, the guru said he had done nothing illegal and the scandal was "a false campaign".

His ashram near the southern city of Bangalore was vandalised last week after TV channels broadcast the video.

'Nothing illegal'

In a message on his official website on Sunday, the guru asked his followers to remain calm and patient.

"I assure all of you that nothing illegal has been done by me or my organisation. We are in the process of collecting evidence to establish this lie and the motive behind this false campaign," he said.

Swamiji, as he is known to his followers, said he would soon provide an explanation and answer all their queries.

"There is total transparency at the ashram and all allegations of illegal activity are baseless and motivated," ashram spokesman Satichandananda told a press conference on Monday.

Meanwhile, cases have been filed against the holy man in the southern city of Madras (Chennai) for "outraging the people's religious sentiments".

The guru's followers allege the video was created and distributed by a jealous resident of the ashram in a bid to defame him.

Last week the ashram called the footage "a mix of conspiracy, graphics and rumours".

Nithyananda Swami has a huge following in southern India and the video shocked his devotees and angered locals.



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