After allegations of biases, Karnataka Police forced to arrest Hindu saint Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru for sexually abusing school girls

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After being accused of biases, the Karnataka Police on Thursday finally arrested Karnataka Hindu saint of Murugha Math, Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, for raping two school girls aged 15 and 16. Murugha Sharanaru complained of health complications immediately after he was sent to jail.

The prominent Hindu saint, belonging to the powerful Lingayat community, was arrested on Thursday before being sent to a 14-day judicial custody. However, he complained of health complications as soon as he was sent to jail in Chitradurga.

The police have also arrested a ‘second accused’, Rashmi, in the case.

Murugha Sharanaru is accused of sexually abusing two school girls aged 15 and 16 studying at a school run by the math and residing in a hostel.

According to news agency PTI, four others have also been booked with one person working at the ‘Santvana Kendra’ (counselling centre by the Directorate of Women and Child Development Department), while another one has been arrested. The police have launched a search operation for two others in relation to the case.

Murugha Sharanaru has been booked under provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Karnataka has a BJP government, which has traditionally been backed by the Lingayat community and powerful saints from the community. A group of lawyers on Thursday had written to the Registrar General of the Karnataka High Court alleging biases by the police in the case. They had claimed that the accused saint was ‘not being carried out in an unbiased, free and fair manner.’

“He (the seer) has not even been summoned for investigation or his medical examination conducted. These lacunas in the investigation show that there is already prejudice caused on part of the investigation,” the lawyers had claimed in the letter.

The lawyers had said that the accused was not even being summoned for questioning, terming the apathy shown by the police ‘utterly shocking.’