Mutt sex scandal: Karnataka court defers seer’s bail plea hearing to Friday

Chitradurga: A local court here on Thursday adjourned to Friday the hearing on bail plea of the accused seer Dr Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru in the Lingayat mutt sex scandal case.

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The Second District and Sessions’ court also directed the prosecution to file objections to the bail petition. Vishwanathaiah, senior advocate representing the accused seer stated that the matter will be taken up on Friday.

Asked about demands for arrest of the accused seer, Vishwanathaiah stated that the law can be understood by their own perspective and people might have given their opinion based on that.

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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) Act. The issue has become national news over police inaction in the case. Despite the FIR being registered six days ago, the police are yet to question the accused.

According to police sources, the investigating officer will get the statement recorded under Section 164 before the local court by the survivors on Thursday and the accused seer could be given notice to appear for questioning.

Additional police force has been deployed on the mutt premises and the main gate closed following National Commission for Protection of Children’s Rights (NCPCR)’s notice. The medical reports of the victim girls are also available with the police.

Earlier, Chitradurga SP Parashuram was questioned by the NCPCR and the State Commission for Children regarding the case.

NCPCR has sought answers for 9 questions from the SP over the sexual assault case and asked him to submit report within 7 days. NCPCR and State Commission for Children have taken up the suo motu case in this connection.

The silence of the opposition Congress and other parties is also being questioned in the issue. Ruling BJP is treading cautiously as it is not ready to take any chance in the upcoming Assembly elections, insiders say.

Accused Murugha seer is facing charges of sexual assault on two minor girls staying at the hostel facility of Murugha mutt in Chitradurga. Including the hostel warden and junior pontiff, the case has been registered against five persons for colluding in the case of sexual assault.

Demanding a judicial probe, the survivors have told police that they are in possession of the videos and submit it only if a judicial probe is ordered. The girls explained that they were drugged before the sexual assault, but, they could remember what was going on, police sources said.

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