Influential Karnataka prophet, accused of raping schoolgirl, arrested – Flying Journals


Shivamurthy Sharanaru, the religious leader of Karnataka’s politically powerful Lingayat community, was arrested later tonight under intense civil society pressure. Two underage girls accused him of rape and the lawsuit was filed six days ago.

Here are the top 10 points from the big story:

  1. Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, 64, heads Murugha Math, one of the important Lingayat seminaries.

  2. He was named in a case under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Protection of Scheduled Castes and Tribes because one of the survivors belonged to the Dalit community.

  3. The arrests took place around 10.15pm after a day of protests by civil society and various organisations in Karnataka’s Chitra Durga and Mysore districts.

  4. Given the law and order concerns, police took an extremely cautious approach – barricading his front door and taking him through the back door a few hours before the arrest.

  5. He has been transferred to the Deputy Superintendent’s Office in Chitra Durga Charaklei. It is not known if he will appear in court tonight.

  6. The case was filed on 26 August after the two girls, both students of Murugha Math, approached an NGO in Mysore. The two teens claim they have been abused for years.

  7. Their earlier attempt to lodge a complaint in June-July was thwarted after Bangalore police called mutt authorities. The source said officials from mutt had come to escort them back.

  8. Given the political clout of the Lynyard community, the state’s political leaders, across party lines, have remained silent on the issue. Earlier this month, Shivamurthy Sharanaru introduced Congress’ Rahul Gandhi to the Lingayat community.

  9. Chief Minister Basawaraji Bomai’s predecessor, BS Yediyurappa, publicly supported him, saying the seer was “wrongly implicated”.

  10. “Even if it’s delayed, justice has been done for the girls,” said Srinivas DC, an advocate on their behalf.



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