Chitradurga: In a major development, Karnataka Police on Monday stated that the charges against rape accused, jailed Lingayat seer Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru have been held to stand during the course of investigation.
Superintendent of Police, Chitradurga, K. Parashurama said that along with the prime accused seer, the charges against accused number two, women’s hostel warden Rashmi and accused number four Paramashivaiah are also valid.
However, the police are gathering evidence against accused number two, a minor, and accused number five Gangadharaiah, he added.
The SP said that the charge sheet was submitted to the court on Octover 27 by the investigating officer. The statements by the victims in connection with the second case have also been recorded. The parents of the victims had also recorded their statements. The accused seer was taken into police custody and questioned regarding the case, he saidd.
Based on the statements by the victims, the police have recorded statements of other girls. There is an allegation of more than 15 girls abused by the seer. The police had sought more information in this direction from Odanadi NGO founder Stanley, SP Parashurama said.
The police have requested him to share details and assured him of a joint investigation.
On the allegation of rape and murder of a minor girl who resisted abuse in the mutt by the accused seer, the SP said that the victims of first case have stated that one girl was raped and murdered.
The investigations so far have shown that the girl died after falling from the train in Hindupur Railway police station limits in Andhra Pradesh. The case is being closed as an accidental death. The police are also investigating the allegations of use of drugs in the mutt, and are awaiting medical reports, Parashurama said.
The medical tests have proved that the accused seer is capable of committing sexual abuse. The first Pocso and SC/ST Atrocity case was lodged against the seer on August 26. The second case under similar provisions was filed on October 13. Following high drama the accused seer was arrested on September 1.
Meanwhile, as accused seer is refusing to step down as the head of Chitradurga mutt, a delegation had met Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and discussed the appointment of new pontiff. Sources within mutt say that the accused seer is in full control of the mutt and taking decisions.