Karnataka: Rape-accused Lingayat seer arrested


Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, the chief pontiff of Jagadguru Murugarajendra Vidyapeetha mutt in Karnataka’s Chitradurga, who was booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (Pocso) for allegedly sexually assaulting minor girls, has been arrested by the Karnataka Police.

According to a report in India Today, the seer has been arrested and taken to a government hospital in Chitradurga for a medical check-up.

“The chief pontiff of Sri Murugha Mutt, Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting minors,” Alok Kumar, ADGP, Law and Order Karnataka told the media.

The due procedure will be followed. Medical test and investigation will be done as per the procedure. He will also be produced before judge, ADGP Kumar was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.

Earlier in the day, the cops had detained the mutt hostel warden, Rashmi, for questioing in connection with the rape case.

The case against the Lingayat seer was first registered by a child welfare committee in Mysuru on August 26, on behalf of the minor girls who left the mutt hostel in July. The case was later transferred to Chitradurga where the mutt is located.

Protests erupted in Chitradurga on August 29 over police inaction in the case even after medical tests of the minor girls were completed. The protesters demanded strict action against Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, who was back at the mutt. Some activists approached the Karnataka Governor demanding an impartial probe by a committee headed by a high court judge.

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