The Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which investigated the rape and murder of a 17-year-old girl whose body was found near Dharmasthala a year ago, submitted its report to the State government on Thursday. The probe, top police sources said, had not found any merit in the allegations levelled against four persons by the victim’s parents. The parents had also alleged that the “real culprits” were being shielded by the Dharmadhikari of Srikshetra Dharmasthala D. Veerendra Heggade, one among them being his nephew Nischal. Mr. Heggade had responded that his relative’s name was being dragged into the case to bring disrepute to him and the religious institution he heads. A CID official disclosed that they had found no evidence of gang-rape and that the crime was committed at the bathing area on the outskirts of Dharmasthala on October 9, 2012, and not anywhere else.

On the charge of involvement of Mr. Heggade’s relative, the senior officer said that the youngster was in the U.S. on the day of the crime.