- Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, 64, heads the Murugha Math, one of the key Lingayat seminaries.
NEW DELHI – Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, a religious leader of Karnataka’s politically powerful Lingayat community, was arrested yesterday after massive pressure from the civil society. Two minor girls have accused him of rape and a case was filed 6 days ago.
Murugha Sharanaru is accused of sexually abusing two school girls aged 15 and 16 studying at a school run by the math and residing in a hostel.
The arrest took place around 10.15 pm after daylong protests by the civil society and various organisations across Karnataka’s Chitradurga and Mysuru districts. He was then presented before the magistrate court which sent him to 14-day judicial custody.
The case was filed on August 26 after the girls – both students of Murugha Math — approached a non-governmental organisation in Mysuru. The two teens alleged that they were abused for years.
Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, 64, heads the Murugha Math, one of the key Lingayat seminaries.
He has been named in a case under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and under the law protecting Scheduled Castes and Tribes, as one of the survivors belongs to the Dalit community.
According to news agency PTI, four others have also been booked with one person working at the ‘Santvana Kendra’ (counselling centre by the Directorate of Women and Child Development Department), while another one has been arrested. The police have launched a search operation for two others in relation to the case.