Rape-accused Karnataka seer Shivamurthy Murugha sent to 4-day police custody
The Karnataka Lingayat seer arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting minor girls was sent to four-day police custody on Friday. Earlier today, Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru was shifted to Bengaluru after developing some health complications in jail.
Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, the Lingayat seer from Karnataka who was arrested in a rape case, was sent to four-day police custody on Friday. The chief pontiff of the Murugha mutt in Chitradurga was arrested on Thursday for allegedly sexually assaulting minor girls.
He was sent to Bengaluru earlier after experiencing some health issues on Friday while being held in custody. The seer reportedly complained of chest pain in jail following which an electrocardiogram and other medical tests were conducted at the Chitradurga district hospital, where he was taken to.
The police had sought to keep the seer for five days for questioning. The police were criticised by the court for failing to tell it that the seer had been transferred from the jail to the hospital. It instructed the correctional staff to provide the medical records.
The court ruled that the seer will need medical attention while in police custody and should only be brought to the hospital if his health deteriorates.
The 64-year-old Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru is the head of the Murugha Math, a significant Lingayat seminary. Six days ago, a case was filed when two young girls accused him of rape. As one of the survivors is from the Dalit community, he has been named in a case under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act and the statute protecting Scheduled Castes and Tribes.
On September 1, an arrest was made following a day of protests by members of the community and social organisations in the districts of Chitradurga and Mysuru, Karnataka. Due to potential law and order difficulties, the police took further precautions, blocking the mutt's front entrance hours before the arrest and removing him through the backdoor.
The girls, who are both Murugha Math students, sought a non-governmental organisation in Mysuru, and the lawsuit was filed on August 26. The two girls alleged that they had been mistreated for many years.