Lingayat Mutt Chief Arrested on the Charges of Rape

Lingayat mutt chief Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru,was arrested from the mutt on the night of 1st September.

Lingayat mutt chief Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, who heads the Jagadguru Murugharajendra Vidyapeetha in Chitradurga in central Karnataka, was arrested from the mutt on the night of 1st September, Thursday. Lingayat is a very famous religious organisation with a following of millions of people, including celebrities and prominent personalities. The Lingayat community has its educational institution, which educates people with the ideas and beliefs of the community known as Jagadguru Murugharajendra Vidyapeetha.


Politicians, including Yediyurappa and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, also hail from the Lingayat community.The case was registered after the victims reached Mysuru and approached an NGO that works for human trafficking victims. The girl complainants had told members of the state Child Welfare Committee (CWC) that they were sexually assaulted between January 2019 and June 2022. The case was later transferred to the Chitradurga police. On August 26, the police lodged a complaint against Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru under the POCSO Act and IPC section 376 relating to rape. The arrest of the Mutt chief comes a week after an FIR was registered against him for alleged sexual assault of two students who were below the age of 18 years. The FIR stated that the girls were counselled, after which they said that they had been sexually abused.  However, even after the FIR was filed, the police failed to take any action. The police and the state government faced criticism for allegedly suppressing the case. Police earlier said that the chief was missing and a look-out circular against him has been issued. However, the actual arrest came after Several Dalit organisations started protesting against. Bharatiya Dalitha Sangharsha Samithi (dalit organisation) founder H Prakash Beeravara, who led a protest that blocked the car of Chitradurga Deputy Commissioner of police, said: “Everyone knows that he is sitting inside the mutt. What stops the police from arresting him? It is clear that they have succumbed to pressure.” Now, he has been sent into 14 days' judicial custody. Also, last Sunday, B S Yediyurappa, former Karnataka Chief Minister, had described the charges against the pontiff as “false”.


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