CHITRADURGA: The chief pontiff of the Sri Murugha Mutt, Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, was on Friday sent to 14-day judicial custody in the case of sexual assault of minor girls. He was produced before a judge and the police had planned to seek remand in open court today.
“The chief pontiff of the Sri Murugha Mutt, Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, accused of sexually assaulting minors, has been arrested,” said Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Law and Order, Alok Kumar. The chief pontiff’s medical test was also conducted.
Alok Kumar had earlier said, “Due procedure will be followed. Medical test and investigation will be done as per the procedure. He will also be produced before a judge.”
Speaking to media persons, Chitradurga SP Parashurama K said on Thursday night, “We arrested him (Chief of Sri Murugha Mutt) in the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO) case. The second accused is in our custody and is being questioned. There is no political pressure on us. After the medical checkup, we will present the seer before the magistrate.”
On Tuesday, the District Sessions Court in Chitradurga had adjourned the anticipatory bail petition of the chief pontiff of the Murugha Mutt to September 1.
An FIR under the POCSO Act has been registered against the pontiff of the influential Muruga Mutt in Chitradurga after minor girls made allegations of sexual harassment against him. According to the FIR, the girls were abused for over two years.
Earlier this month, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi visited Murugha Math along with party leaders D K Shivakumar and K C Venugopal. The Murugha Mutt is also known to be an influential institution with a long list of politicians visiting regularly. The pontiff also gave Gandhi the ‘Lingadeekshe’, which is an official ceremony inviting a person into the Lingayat sect. (ANI)