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Karnataka seer sent to police custody till September 5

In a day of dramatic developments in connection with POCSO case, the seer was shifted from jail to hospital and finally to police custody

September 02, 2022 08:00 pm | Updated 09:10 pm IST - HUBBALLI:

Chief pontiff of Sri Murugha Mutt Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru is taken to a hospital in Chitradurga on September 2, 2022.

Chief pontiff of Sri Murugha Mutt Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru is taken to a hospital in Chitradurga on September 2, 2022. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The head of Brihan mutt in Chitradurga, Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, arrested on Thursday night in connection with the alleged sexual harassment of minor girls, was on Friday handed over to police custody till September 5 following court’s direction.

The day saw dramatic developments, with the seer being shifted from prison to hospital and then to police custody.

Early in the day the seer was shifted from Chitradurga prison to district hospital after he complained of chest pain. The next few hours saw a team of doctors being called to check the health of the seer and several tests being conducted to ascertain the cause.

Attempts to shift to Bengaluru

Soon reports emerged that the seer had been advised to be shifted to Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology in Bengaluru for further cardiac treatment. Subsequently an application was filed before Second Additional District and Sessions Court seeking permission to shift him to Bengaluru for treatment.

Jail Superintendent Akkamahadevi, who had shifted the seer to district hospital following complaint of uneasiness on Friday morning, had filed the application seeking court’s permission. Meanwhile, the district Police had made a plea seeking five-day custody seer for questioning.

In the afternoon, when the case came up for hearing before her, Judge B.K. Komala asked the applicants to produce supporting medical reports. As the applicant failed to produce related medical reports and documents, the Judge directed them to produce the seer before the court personally immediately and adjourned the hearing.

Following the court’s direction the scene at the district hospital, where preparations were reportedly being made to shift the seer to Bengaluru, suddenly changed. A huge posse of Police personnel was deployed at the hospital and the traffic was cleared to take the seer to the court. After the seer on wheelchair was produced before the court, Judge B.K. Komala granted the Police three-day custody till (September 5) of the Lingayat seer and asked the investigating officer to provide required medical assistance to the seer while under police custody.

Judicial custody

Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, who was arrested on Thursday late night, was produced before the judge after medical examination and was remanded in judicial custody for 14 days. Subsequently the district police took him to district prison, where he spent the night.

According to Police sources the seer experienced uneasiness on Friday morning and the prison staff immediately rushed him to district hospital in Chitradurga

Speaking to press persons after handing over the custody of the seer to the prison authorities during wee hours of Friday, Superintendent of Police K. Parashuram had said that they would seek custody of the seer for questioning.

Second arrest

In a releated development the district Police have arrested warden of the hostel run by the Mutt, the second accused in the case filed under POCSO Act. The Police had already taken her under custody on Thursday for questioning and had lodged her “Santvana Kendra” in Chitradurga. After completing initial questioning, they arrested her on Friday afternoon.

It may be recalled that the warden has filed a complaint against Mr. S.K. Basavarajan, the administrator of the mutt (now dismissed) and his wife, alleging sexual harassment and kidnap of girls. The couple was granted bail on Thursday.

The Superintendent of Police K. Parashuram has said that notices would be issued to the three other accused in the case asking them to appear before them for questioning.

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