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Friday, February 3, 2023

Fresh FIR against Murugha Mutt seer

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Mysuru: A fresh FIR has been filed by police against Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, the chief pontiff of Murugha Mutt, for allegedly sexually abusing four more minor girls at a hostel in Chitradurga in Karnataka.

The victims filed the case in Mysuru considering the seer’s political clout.

Mysuru City Police Commissioner Chandragupta said they have already transferred the case to Chitradurga Rural Police and the medical test of the victims will be held.

The seer and other accused have been booked under POCSO Act 2012, 5(L), 6, 7 and IPC 376 (2) and 376 (3) and 149 after a complaint was filed by a 38-year-old mother of two children.

The complainant alleged in the FIR that the seer allegedly sexually abused her daughters aged 12 and 14 for over three years from January 1, 2019.

Two other girls aged 14 and 15 years, who were staying a hostel run by the mutt, were also sexually abused for the same period.

Besides the seer, FIR has been filed against other six people who allegedly supported the sexual harassment of the minor girls.

Of the six other accused, five are staff members of the mutt. They have been identified as hostel warden Rashmi, Basavaditya, Paramashivaiah, Gangadaraiah, Mahalinga and Karibasappa.

The Chief of Mysuru-based Odanadi NGO Stanley is demanding a detailed investigation by the CBI as many mutt students have been allegedly sexually abused.

Stanley was the one who helped the victims to lodge an FIR against the seer with police, who transferred the case to Chiradurga since the incident took place there.

Earlier, four persons including the seer were arrested in September under POCSO Act. The Murugha Sree had applied for bail on health conditions, but the Chitradurga district court rejected it.

Meanwhile, Lingayat strongman and former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa defended the seer, saying he is a victim of a conspiracy. The perpetrators want to bring disrepute to the image of Murugha Sree, he said.

This comment was not well received by the women’s and the rights’ groups as they accused Yediyurappa for giving Murugha Sree a clean chit even before his case was heard.

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