Prominent Lingayat Seer Sent To 14-Day Judicial Custody In Sexual Assault Case Of Minor Girls

In the case of the sexual assault of minor girls, Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, the head of the Sri Murugha Mutt, was sentenced to 14 days in judicial custody on Friday, news agency ANI reported.

He was taken to the district prison in Chitradurga. Tomorrow in open court, cops will ask for a police remand.

Sharanaru was held by the Karnataka Police on Thursday following reports of two young girls being sexually assaulted.

“The chief pontiff of Sri Murugha Mutt, Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, accused of sexually assaulting minors, arrested,” Alok Kumar, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Law and Order, Karnataka was quoted by ANI in its report.

A medical examination of the chief pontiff was also performed.

Earlier, Kumar said: “The due procedure will be followed. Medical test and investigation will be done as per the procedure. He will also be produced before judge.”

Addressing the media, Chitradurga SP Parashurama K had said, “We arrested him (Chief of Sri Murugha Mutt) in the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO) case. The second accused is being questioned. She is in our custody. There is no political pressure on us. After the medical checkup, we will present the seer before the magistrate.”

The anticipatory bail application of the head of the Murugha Mutt was postponed by the District Sessions Court in Chitradurga on Tuesday until September 1.

After young girls accused the head of the prominent Muruga Mutt in Chitradurga of sexual harassment, a FIR under the POCSO Act was filed against him.

Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru of the Murugha Mutt in Chitradurga is the subject of the FIR. The girls were allegedly molested for more than two years, according to the FIR.

Along with party officials DK Shivakumar and KC Venugopal, Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the Congress party, paid a visit to the Murugha Math in Chitradurga earlier this month. A vast number of politicians are known to frequently visit the Murugha Mutt, which is also regarded as a significant institution. Gandhi received the “Lingadeekshe” from the pontiff as well, which is a formal invitation to join the Lingayat sect.

“This is an extremely shocking and sad development. Each time something like this happens it shakes our confidence in our own surroundings, and in our own people. As a society, we owe it to ourselves that these allegations are probed thoroughly and impartially. The Karnataka government and all political parties have to ensure that there are no pulls, pressures, politics and interference in this case. The girls deserve nothing but justice,” BJP MP Lahar Singh Siroya was quoted by ANI in its report.

“If there is even an iota of doubt that interests of justice will be served better if this case is transferred outside Karnataka, then that too should be considered. In this case, not only do perceptions matter but restoring confidence in the health of our society is important. All of us have a crucial role to play in that respect,” the MP added.

(With Inputs From ANI)