All cases related to the controversy surrounding Sri Raghaveshwara Bharati Swami of the Ramachandrapura Math in Shimoga have been transferred to Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Saturday. Padam Kumar Garg, Additional Director-General of Police, CID, told The Hindu the order transferring the cases to CID was received on Saturday. He said they are yet to receive the case files and take over the cases. There is no timeframe for the probe.
Daughter of a singer couple, who were former devotees of the math, had lodged a complaint with the Banashankari police here on August 27 alleging that the seer had sexually harassed her mother and criminally intimidated the family. This was preceded by a complaint by Chandrashekar with the Honnavar police alleging that the couple had been blackmailing the seer. Acting on the complaint, the Honnavar police had arrested the couple on August 27. Meanwhile, Shamasundar Shastry, a relative of the complainant couple, shot himself dead at Kedila near Puttur on August 31. The family had alleged that the math authorities had made threatening calls to Shastry after the couple’s complaint, allegedly leading him to take the extreme step. Mangalore district police had registered a case of unnatural death. All three cases have been transferred to CID. Director-General and Inspector-General of Police L.R. Pachau said in view of the sensitive nature of the cases, the local police may find it difficult to conduct a thorough investigation owing to ‘pressure’ on them. This is why it was referred to the CID, he said.
Special Correspondent from Hubli reports
Kekkar village, near Honnavar, in Uttara Kannada, was tense following the arrival of the police at the math where the seer stays, on Friday night. Devotees reportedly tried to prevent the police, attached to the Girinagar Police Station, Bangalore, from going near the seer. The situation remained tense even after the police left the village after serving notice on the seer. Meanwhile, the Honnavar JMFC Court adjourned hearing on the bail application of the couple arrested on charges of extortion and blackmailing an aide of Ramachandrapura Math till September 10.