Bangaluru: The chief pontiff of Sri Murugha Mutt, Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, was apprehended on Thursday evening for allegedly sexually assaulting minors.
Following the alleged sexual charge, he has been booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) for the alleged sexual abuse of two high school girls.
The Karnataka Police last week had begun an investigation into the case registered against Sharanaru and four others.
Reportedly, Sharanaru has been sent to the district jail of Chitradurga in judicial custody for 14 days after the arrest. It is expected that now police will ask for remand in the court so that he can be interrogated.
Earlier on Tuesday, the District and Sessions Court of Chitradurga had postponed the anticipatory bail plea of Sharanaru, the head priest of Murugha Mutt.
A few days before his arrest, Sharanaru had told the media that this was not the first time that a conspiracy has been hatched against the Mutt.
''It has been happening since the last 15 years and these conspiracies inside the monastery should not have been made public. All I have to say is that I will come out clean as the allegations are false and baseless. Will give full cooperation in the investigation and help to take it to its logical end,'' he added.
Meanwhile, a group of advocates has shot a letter to the Registrar General of the Karnataka High Court claiming that the investigation against the accused seer "is not being carried out in an unbiased, free and fair manner."
Murugha Mutt is also known as an influential institution and there is a long list of visiting politicians.
In 2020, when there was speculation that the then Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa would be replaced, Shivamurthy of the Murugha Mutt was among the first religious leaders to publicly support Yediyurappa.
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