Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday said investigation is on in a case involving the chief pontiff of a prominent mutt based in Chitradurga, who has been charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, and the truth will come out from the probe.
He, however, declined to make any other comments regarding the allegations against the pontiff and the case, as a probe is underway.
“When there is an important case — a case has been booked under POCSO Act and there is also a kidnapping case in Chitradurga — police have registered both the cases and investigation is on. In such a situation, making comments or interpreting the case is not good for investigation,” Mr Bommai said in response to a question.
Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, he said, “The police have complete freedom, they will investigate and the truth will come out.”
The Mysuru city police have filed an FIR against Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru of Murugha Mutt in Chitradurga under the POCSO Act and certain sections of the Indian Penal Code, for alleged sexual abuse of high school girls.
The FIR has been registered in total against five people, including the warden of the monastery’s hostel, based on the complaint by an officer of the District Child Protection Unit.
The girls are said to have approached ‘Odanadi Seva Samsthe’, a non-governmental organisation based in Mysuru, and narrated the abuse they had gone through during the counselling, following which it approached the authorities and the case was registered by the police.
Reacting to the complaint in Chitradurga, Murugha Mutt Advisory Committee member N B Vishwanath has said the charges against the pontiff were “far from the truth”.
He has also alleged that the mutt’s administrative officer S K Basavarajan, a former MLA, was behind the charge.
A case of sexual harassment and kidnapping has been registered against Basavarajan in Chitradurga on a complaint from a woman, who is said to be a staff at the mutt.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)