Math seer arrest: Police given free hand, investigation in accordance with law, says K’taka CM


PTI, Sep 2, 2022, 1:54 PM IST

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday said police have been given a free hand to investigate the sexual abuse case against chief pontiff of Murugha Math Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, in accordance with law.

He did not wish to comment on allegations regarding the ”delay” in the arrest of the seer.

”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,” Bommai said in response to a question on alleged delay in the seer’s arrest.

Speaking to reporters here, he said police have been given a free hand and they are at work.

The seer was arrested by police on Thursday night, six days after the case of alleged sexual harassment of two minor girls staying in a hostel run by the Math was filed under the POCSO Act against him.

Sharanaru was produced during the early hours of Friday before the first additional district and sessions judge, who remanded him to 14 days’ judicial custody.

Earlier this morning, the 64-year-old seer was taken to the district hospital, after he complained of some health complications in jail, police sources said.

The Mysuru city police had last week filed an FIR against the seer under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and certain sections of the Indian Penal Code for the alleged sexual abuse.

The FIR was registered against a total of five people, including the warden of the prominent Lingayat Math’s hostel, based on the complaint by an officer of the District Child Protection Unit.

Two high-school girls had approached a non-governmental organisation 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, as it was the place of occurrence of the alleged crime.

The seer, who wields considerable influence in the community, was booked under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act as well, as one of the victims belongs to the SC community.

The seer had earlier claimed the allegations against him were part of a long-drawn conspiracy and that he was law-abiding and would cooperate in the probe.

There have been protests demanding Sharanaru’s arrest.

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