Days after the chief pontiff of an influential Lingayat mutt in Karnataka’s Chitradurga was booked for allegedly sexually abusing two girls for three-and-a-half years, former CM and senior BJP leader B S Yediyurappa on Sunday said that the charges were false.
“It is a false charge. There is no truth in it and after the completion of the investigation, he will come out clean,” Yediyurappa said.
Mutt head Shivamurthy Muruga Sharanaru and four others have been booked under Sections pertaining to rape and one section of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act.
The Mutt is a prominent and influential Lingayat mutt. Several political leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, have visited the mutt ahead of the Assembly elections scheduled to be held next year hoping to woo the Lingayat community.
Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday refused to comment over the issue and said, “POCSO and kidnapping cases have been registered in Chitradurga. I will comment on the issue after the investigation is over. The Police have total freedom to look into the matter and the probe will reveal the truth.”
Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar, too, refused to comment over the issue.
Meanwhile, JD (S) leader and former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy said that he was not surprised by the case against the pontiff of the mutt, stating that there were several discussions about the issue from 5-6 months ago as well. “This issue should have been taken care of at the initial stage and should not affect the religious fraternity,” he added.