Another accused in the Murugha Mutt Sexual Abuse Case has been taken into custody by police. The junior pontiff of Murugha Mutt was picked up from Hosapete city of Karnataka on Sunday, making the third arrest in the case.
The prime accused, Lingayat pontiff of the influential Muruga Rajendra Mutt in Karnataka, Shivamurthy Muruga Sharanaru, was sent to police custody by the Chitradurga District Sessions Court till September 5.
Shivamurthy was arrested on September 1, six days after the case of alleged sexual harassment of two minor girls staying in a hostel run by the Mutt was filed under the POCSO Act against him. He was booked under provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act for the alleged crime.
Another accused Rashmi, the warden of Murugha Mutt hostel was nabbed by police on September 2, the second arrest in the case.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had earlier said police have been given a free hand to investigate the sexual abuse case against the chief pontiff of Murugha Mutt, Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, in accordance with the law.
Refusing to comment on allegations regarding the “delay” in the arrest, Bommai had said, “There is no need to respond to all these talks. I have already said that everything will happen in accordance with law. It is not right to comment on the case at the present situation."
Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra had also said the POCSO case involving the arrested Lingayat pontiff Shivamurthy Muruga Sharanaru will be handled according to the law of the land. “There will be no government interference in any way. The police are free to conduct investigations,” he said.