694-page charge sheet filed against accused seer
Chitradurga (Karnataka): The Karnataka police have filed a 694-page charge sheet against rape-accused Lingayat seer Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru in a local court, police sources stated on Friday.
According to police sources, while this is an interim charge sheet, a detailed one would be filed as the investigation progresses.
Filed by the investigation officer Anil Kumar, the charge sheet contains reports of 347 pages against the rape-accused. It also contains charges against the second accused, ladies hostel warden Rashmi and fourth accused, secretary of the mutt Paramaahivaiah.
Police said that they were supposed to file a charge sheet in the local court before October 30 and hence they have submitted an interim one.
As per the charge sheet, the investigation has continued in connection with the third accused junior pontiff and fifth accused Gangadharaiah. The report says that there is lack of evidence against them.
The police have booked the rape-accused seer and accused under IPC Sections 376 (2) (N), 376 (DA), 376 (3), 201, 202, 506 read with 34 and 37 IPC and column 17 (5) L, POCSO Act, SC, ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, Section 7 of the Religious Institution Prevention of Misuse Act 1988 and Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015.
Two minor girls had filed a case of sexual abuse and rape against influencial Lingayat seer Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru and others on August 26. After a dramatic turn of events, the seer was arrested on September 1.
The news made national headlines. The Second Additional District and Sessions Court slammed prosecution for giving preferential treatment to the accused seer and ordered to treat him just as an undertrial.
The accused Swamiji’s bail petitions have been repeatedly rejected. Adding to his woes, fresh complaints have been lodged against him by another set of victims.