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Karnataka: Murugha Mutt chief pontiff accused of sexually assaulting minors, arrested

Karnataka: The police have registered a case under the POCSO (Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences) Act.

T Raghavan Reported By: T Raghavan Chitradurga Updated on: September 01, 2022 23:37 IST
The Police have registered a case under the POCSO
Image Source : PTI The Police have registered a case under the POCSO (Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences) Act.

Highlights

  • The police had an FIR against the seer under POCSO Act
  • Seer was booked under Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act)
  • The anticipatory bail plea moved by the seer was adjourned to September 2 by a local court

The Karnataka Police on Thursday arrested Sant Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, the chief pontiff of the Murugha Math for the alleged sexual assault of two minors in Chitradurga, police said. 

The police had 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 consisted of the names of five people including the warden of the monastery's hostel, based on the complaint by an officer of the District Child Protection Unit. The warden was questioned earlier in the day.

Two girls had approached a non-governmental organization in Mysuru and narrated the alleged abuse. This was followed by a revelation to the authorities after which 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 was subsequently booked under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act as well. He 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.

Earlier on Thursday, the anticipatory bail plea moved by the seer was adjourned to September 2 by a local court here. There have been protests demanding the seer's immediate arrest. Police have made elaborate security arrangements in Chitradurga. 

The seer has applied for anticipatory bail. Meanwhile, a local court will hear the case tomorrow. 

(With inputs from PTI)

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