A local court in Karnataka’s Chitradurga on Tuesday extended for 14 days the judicial custody of Shivamurthy Sharanaru, the Murugha mutt pontiff arrested for the alleged sexual assault of two minor students.
The Chitradurga court extended the pontiff’s judicial custody till October 10. The judicial custody of the warden, another accused in the case, was also extended till October 10.
Meanwhile, sources close to the mutt said that they are scheduled to hold a meeting on September 29 to decide whether Sharanaru must step down from the pontiff position or continue. According to an employee of the mutt, the employees are upset that the incident has affected the image of the 400-year-old mutt and impacted its day-to-day operations.
Sharanaru, who heads the Jagadguru Murugharajendra Vidyapeetha, was arrested after being booked for rape and under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act on the complaint of two minors who stayed at a school hostel that the mutt runs. He has been in jail since September 1. The girls had told members of the state Child Welfare Committee that they were sexually assaulted between January 1, 2019, and June 6, 2022. The case was later transferred to the Chitradurga district police.