Accused Lingayat seer sent to 14-day judicial custody in alleged rape case
Chitradurga (Karnataka), September 2, 2022
Lingayat seer Murugha Shivamurthy Sharanaru, who was arrested after being charged with sexually assaulting minor girls, was sent to 14 days in judicial custody on Friday.
The accused seer was taken to an undisclosed location following his arrest on Thursday night which came six days after the first information report (FIR) was lodged against him.
He was later taken for medical examination after which he was produced before the District and Sessions' court Judge B. K. Komala.
Umesh, the advocate for the seer, stated that a petition will be moved in the court on Friday and he is confident of obtaining bail in one or two days.
He also claimed that the jail authorities did not give him permission to meet the seer.
"If the police move a petition to take the accused seer into their custody, the petition will be opposed," he said.
The state's Minister for Revenue R. Ashok broke his silence over the issue and stated that the law is taking its own course of action regarding the case.
"Mutts have great respect. Incidents like this should not take place. The law of the land has its own dignity," he added.
Meanwhile, a search operation is underway for the three other accused who have gone absconding after their bail petitions in the court were adjourned.
The accused are junior pontiff Basavaditya, secretary of the mutt Paramashivaiah and Gangadharaiah.
The police have also taken hostel warden Rashmi into custody.
Following the arrest of the seer, authorities have handed over the responsibility of Chitradurga mutt to Mahanta Rudra Swamiji from Hebbala mutt.
Murugha Shivamurthy Sharanaru is facing charges under the Prevention of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The seer is accused of raping 15 and 16-year-old minor girls, with the help of the lady warden, junior pontiff and other staff.