Cops searched for Pocso case complainants: NGO

Published on Dec 01, 2022 11:48 PM IST

In the complaint, the NGO said that the team of ten police personnel on Wednesday entered the premises without prior intimation and searched for the complainants in the Pocso cases filed againstSharanaru.

The police team, consisting of two sub-inspectors and constables — all are in civilian clothing — conducted searches and left the premises only after the NGO directors protested, said K V Stanley, one of the directors of the NGO.
The police team, consisting of two sub-inspectors and constables — all are in civilian clothing — conducted searches and left the premises only after the NGO directors protested, said K V Stanley, one of the directors of the NGO.
By, Mysuru

NGO Odanadi — which played a pivotal role in getting rape cases against seer Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru registered based on which he was arrested — on Thursday filed a complaint with the state child rights commission against Chitradurga police for allegedly searching their premises without a child welfare committee member.

In the complaint, the NGO said that the team of ten police personnel on Wednesday entered the premises without prior intimation and searched for the complainants in the Pocso cases filed againstSharanaru.

HT has seen a copy of the complaint.

The police team, consisting of two sub-inspectors and constables — all are in civilian clothing — conducted searches and left the premises only after the NGO directors protested, said K V Stanley, one of the directors of the NGO.

Stanley on Thursday alleged that police entered the premises to try and weaken the cases. ‘’Prima facie, the police are trying to weaken the Pocso case filed against Shivamurthy Sharanaru by entering Odanadi premises under the guise of taking statements of victims. The police are well aware that they should meet minor victims in presence of CWC only,” he said.

“On Wednesday, we were supposed to go to Chitradurga to appear for the court case. We believe that police team came to take victims into custody, while we were away,” he added.

Chitradurga SP K Parashuram said “the visit was due to a miscommunication”.

“They visited Odanadi due to miscommunication. The police team visit was based on the instructions from the trial court which is hearing the second POCSO case, but the team was to visit the CWC,” he said.

Stanley, however, countered the statement saying the NGO and the CWC were located in different directions. “Police officials were well aware of this, but they said they mistakenly came to Odanadi. Police left the spot only after we expressed resentment against illegal entry,” he added.

Sharanaru, who was the head pontiff of the influential Lingayat mutt Sri Jagadguru Murugharajendra (SJM) mutt in Chitradurga, was arrested on September 1 for allegedly raping two minor girls who lived in the hostel owned by the mutt. On October 13, two more girls filed another Pocso case against the seer, alleging that he had raped them.

The seer has denied the allegations. He appointed another seer Basavarajendra swamiji as in-charge pontiff.

On November 9,Odanadi alleged that the mutt authorities had offered the NGO 3 crore to get the complainants to drop the two POCSO cases against Sharanaru. The mutt’s spokesman denied the allegation.

On November 28, the Chitradurga police served a notice to one of Odanadi’s directors, M Parashuram, to produce evidence to to back his allegation about being offered the bribe.

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