The Karnataka Police has filed a 694-page long charge sheet against a prominent Lingayat seer booked for sexually abusing two minor girls.
Murugha Math chief pontiff Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru has been booked under provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act for allegedly sexually abusing two high school girls who studied in a school run by the Math and stayed in hostel belonging to it.
The Chitradurga police submitted a 694-page charge sheet in a district court against Sharanaru. The police submitted the charge sheet before the Additional District and Sessions Judge against Sharanaru, the warden of the hostel, and one more accused.
Sharanaru was arrested on September 1 after two girls lodged a complaint in Mysuru with the help of an NGO 'Odanadi Seva Samsthe'. So far, three FIRs have been registered against the seer. In the third FIR, six people have been named as accused including the pontiff and the warden of the hostel.
Sharanaru's math is one of the most prominent and influential Lingayat maths in Karnataka.
The two girls had approached an NGO in Mysuru and narrated the alleged abuse following which it approached the authorities and the case was registered by the police. The case was subsequently shifted to Chitradurga. Murugha Math Advisory Committee member N B Vishwanath had earlier said the charges against the pontiff were "far from the truth".
Vishwanath had also alleged that the math's administrative officer S K Basavarajan, a former MLA, was behind the charge. A case of sexual harassment and kidnapping has been registered against Basavarajan in Chitradurga on a complaint by a woman, who is said to be a staff at the seminary.
(With PTI inputs)