The head pontiff of Karnataka’s Murugha Mutt - Dr Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru - has remained defiant dismissing allegations of sexual assault as a ‘conspiracy charge’. The seer has been accused of sexually abusing two high school girls for two years.
An FIR was registered against him based on the statement of two girls, who accused the seer of ‘sexually abusing’ them for couple of years and four others of allegedly supporting or cooperating for the same. According to police sources, the warden of a hostel run by the mutt was among the accused, reports PTI.
The girls who claim to have been abused by the seer reportedly approached the ‘Odanadi Seva Samsthe’, a social non-governmental organisation based in Mysuru, and narrated their ordeal during a counselling session on Friday night. The NGO then approached the authorities who then filed an FIR based on the complaint by the girls.
The pontiff has maintained that the allegations are a “big conspiracy against him and the truth will be revealed soon". He further said that this was the handiwork of his adversaries who tend to resort to blackmail or ‘roll call’ as a method to gain power.
In a statement today, the Murugha Mutt seer said, “We are standing strong. We are here to serve the community. A permanent solution for the charge must be found. We should follow the law of the land and respect it. Our mutt extends all help to the law.”
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai responded to the reports about the popular seer and said, “When there is an important case — a case has been booked under POCSO Act and there is also a kidnapping case in Chitradurga — police have registered both the cases and investigation is on. In such a situation, making comments or interpreting the case is not good for investigation”.
Murugha Mutt is known to be an influential institution with a long list of politicians who have marked their presence. Earlier this month, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had visited Murugha Mutt, considered one of the important religious centres for the Lingayat community, in Chitradurga. The pontiff gave Gandhi the ‘Lingadeekshe’, which is an official ceremony inviting a person into the Lingayat sect.