Pontiff threatened ashram hostel girls into submission: Survivor


PTI, Nov 14, 2022, 7:18 PM IST

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Bengaluru:The Chitradurga-based Murugha Math seer Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, booked for allegedly sexually assaulting girls in his ashram hostel, used to threaten them that they must follow his instructions for he said he has contacts in the administration and the police.

This statement to the police came from a survivor and is now a part of the charge sheet filed in the court against the 64-year-old pontiff. It was also reported that a girl was murdered who went out to lodge a police complaint.

According to the survivor, she landed in the ashram after losing her parents; she has only a brother. She said she lived with 150 girls in the hostel the warden of which was Rashmi, the go-between the girls and the seer. According to the complainant, the warden used to send those girls whose names he would write on a slip.

The survivor said the seer stripped her and after getting drunk, raped her. She said she kept begging him to spare her as she came from a poor family.

She told police in her statement that other girls too narrated the same story that the seer sexually harassed them.

The survivor specifically mentioned a case in which a girl went out to lodge a complaint. The pontiff and others were alarmed and so caught her, raped her and murdered her.

The survivor said she, along with her friend, escaped, reached Bengaluru, approached a police station and from there they were referred to a person who then took the girls to ‘Odanadi Samstha’ in Mysuru.

When they fled from the ashram, fear gripped her as she recalled that Sharanaru had once threatened her saying, “I know the CM and the police officers.” The Mysuru-based non-government organisation helped the girls lodge a police complaint under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Based on the complaint, Sharanaru was arrested on September 1 and is in judicial custody.

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