Priest out to sacrifice wife for hidden 'pot of gold' nabbed

Priest out to sacrifice wife for hidden 'pot of gold' nabbed

Wanted to kill her as her zodiac sign is Kumbha

The house in Ullal, Kengeri, where Mahalingeshwar and his family live.(Below) The pit he dug up in their home to kill his wife and offer her to a deity.

A temple priest from West Bengaluru has been arrested for trying to offer his wife as a human sacrifice in his pursuit of a "hidden treasure". 

Mahalingeshwar (39) was arrested by the Bengaluru rural police after his 35-year-old wife approached the Karnataka State Commission for Women, fearing he would kill her to become a crorepati. 

Mahalingeshwar, a priest at the Rudra Muneshwara temple in Ullal near Kengeri, worked as a driver until five years ago. His wife's complaint narrated how he gave her veiled threats and how blind he had become in his pursuit of the treasure. 

His wife's zodiac sign is Aquarius (Kumbha Rashi). She said he often told her he was looking for a person of the same sign to be given as a human sacrifice to a deity. Mahalingeshwar believed the deity would lead him to a 'Kumbha', a pot of gold that will spring up from the surface of the earth as soon as the sacrifice was made. He recently dug a pit near their home and performed rituals regularly by lighting lamps and trying to brainwash her. 

The priest told his wife the sacrifice was a vision from his guru, Markandeya, from Murdeshwar, Uttara Kannada district. He would often perform puja in the nude in their home, embarrassing his wife and their three daughters, aged 17, 15 and 12. At times he would stay alone in a room next to the temple and perform puja there. 

Mahalingeshwar would also force his daughters to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes. He would beat them up if they didn't obey. 

The priest's wife decided to approach the commission after he allegedly tried to sexually assault their elder daughter three days ago, according to Nagalakshmi Bai, the commission's chairperson. 

Acting on the complaint, the commission and the jurisdictional Byadarahalli police did a sting operation on Saturday and arrested Mahalingeshwar.