‘Raghaveshwara Bharathi Swami Assaulted Woman Before Raping Her’
Published: 22nd October 2015 04:14 AM
Last Updated: 22nd October 2015 05:48 AM
BENGALURU: Ramachandrapura Mutt pontiff Raghaveshwara Bharathi Swami physically assaulted a 48-year-old Ramakatha singer before raping her, according to the chargesheet, a copy of which is with Express.
The chargesheet states that Bharathi raped the victim each time he called her to his room on the pretext of holding a programme on Ramakatha. He took her to various places in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, New Delhi and West Bengal, for religious functions. Bharathi raped her between June 2011 and June 26, 2014.
The chargesheet states that Bharathi, whose original name is Harish Sharma, assaulted the victim before raping her at the residence of Sheshagiri Bhat, a priest in Sigandur, where he was staying between April 24 and 28, 2013. On another occasion, Bharathi kicked the victim at the residence of one Rajiv Hegade in Hubballi where he stayed between May 23 and 28.On why the victim did not stop Bharathi from raping her, the CID chargesheet states that the pontiff was playing with her religious sentiments. He had told her that she would be cursed by Lord Rama if she did not compromise.
Besides, the victim was afraid that her husband would abandon her is she told him about the rape. She was also scared that her two daughters would be harmed.Bharathi had also told the victim that he belonged to the ‘Bhoga Mardhanala’ tradition, which allowed him to have sex.
The Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report confirmed that the woman was raped, the chargesheet stated. The CID said that Bharathi made the victim swear in the name of Lord Rama to keep the rape a secret.
The CID police have chargesheeted Bharathi under Sections 376 (2)(f) and 376 (2)(n) and 508 of the IPC. They will file an additional chargesheet after Bharathi undergoes three more medical tests.