CID charges pontiff with rape after matching DNA
Bengaluru, September 27, 2015, DHNS
The CID filed a 1,341-page charge sheet against pontiff of Ramachandrapur Mutt Raghaveshwara Bharati for repeatedly raping a singer, part of the Ramakatha concert series organised by the Mutt, between September 2011 and April 2013.
A Forensic Science Laboratory report has confirmed that the DNA sample from the material evidence, semen found on the victim’s clothes, was that of the seer.
Sources said the charge sheet has established the seer sexually abused the singer repeatedly during concerts held across the country since 2011.
The seer first made sexual advances at the victim after a programme in Gokarna in September 2011. At Jodhpur in October, he called her to his room and offered her “prasadam”.
He then raped her four times after Ramakatha programmes and made her swear on Lord Rama against revealing the incident to anyone, failing which he said her family would attract the lord’s curse.
“The victim said the assault continued at many places after Jodhpur. Sexual abuse took place in Kolkata, Mumbai and in nine districts of Karnataka. The victim said the seer made sexual advances by threatening her in Bengaluru, Shivamogga, Hubballi, Bagalkot, Udupi, places in Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada and Kalaburagi districts. Mobile phone locations have established that the seer and the victim were at the same place on those days,” said a senior police officer.
The CID has recorded statements of a few staff and devotees of the Mutt, who have confirmed seeing the victim enter the seer’s room. The CID has pressed charges under Sections 376 (2) (f), 376 (2) (n) for rape and Section 508 of the IPC.
“Since it was proved that the seer had repeatedly threatened the victim of divine displeasure, charges under Section 508 were included. Section 508 deals with acts caused by inducing a person to believe that he would become an object of divine displeasure. The offence attracts jail term up to one year or fine or both,” an official said.