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Friday, February 3, 2023

Court defers seer’s anticipatory bail hearing

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Chitradurga: A Karnataka district court on Thursday deferred the anticipatory bail plea hearing of the Murugha Mutt seer who is accused in a sexual abuse case to tomorrow.

As soon as the court proceedings started at 11 am, Justice B K Komal asked advocates of the other cases to leave the court hall.

Making submissions on the behalf of the two victims who were in the court, advocate Srinivas sought a day’s time to file objections to the bail plea. The court agreed and posted the matter to September 2.

The seer is facing charges under the Prevention of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities).

One of the girl victims belongs to the Scheduled Caste community.

Meanwhile, the National Commission for Children (NCPCR) questioned Chitradurga Superintendent of Police P Parashuram regarding action taken against the seer, Shivamurthy Murugha Mutt Sharanaru.

The Commission asked the Superintendent of Police to furnish a number of records including age proof of the minor victims, copy of the FIR, statements recorded under section 164 of CrPC, present status of the investigation, action taken against the accused and status of interim compensation provided to victims.

The officer was told to submit a report within seven days.

A case of sexual abuse on victims was registered against the seer on August 29 where he was accused of sexually abusing two high school girls who were staying in one of the hostels run by the mutt.

The victims then were taken to ‘Odanadi Seva Samsthe’, a Mysuru-based women’s comfort and children’s residential centre, and complained about the incident. Based on that, police in Mysuru registered a case under the POCSO Act.

An FIR has been registered against five people including seer Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru.

Meanwhile, Dalit and student organizations protested against the ruling BJP and the Karnataka Police, condemning the inaction against the seer. The protestors are demanding immediate arrest of the seer.

The officials of the Child Welfare Committee have shifted most of the girl students from the Murugha mutt hostel to a government-run hostel following the development.

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