Two underage girls who have accused the head pontiff of the Murugarajendra Mutt in Karnataka’s Chitradurga district of sexual abuse recorded statements before a magistrate on Tuesday.
As part of their investigations, the Chitradurga district police produced the two victims in front of a Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) to record their statements under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Statements made before a magistrate under section 164 of the CrPC can be used as evidence in a criminal case.
On August 26, Mysuru police filed a rape case against Muruga Mutt head Shivamurthy Muruga Sharanaru and three others, including a woman warden of the mutt’s hostel where the girls lived, under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act, 2012, and section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Two girls, ages 16 and 15, reported to members of the state Child Welfare Committee that they were sexually assaulted between January 1, 2019, and June 6, 2022.
The two girls were students of a school run by the Mutt in Chitradurga and were residents of a hostel there. In July, they left the mutt hostel.