CID grills pontiff for five hours

CID grills pontiff for five hours

Ramachandrapur mutt seer quizzed in blackmailing case

CID grills pontiff for five hours

Raghaveshwara Bharathi, the pontiff of Hosanagar-based Ramachandrapura Mutt, was questioned for almost five hours at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) office on Tuesday.

The pontiff, who appeared before the investigating officer (IO) at around 2 pm, reportedly co-operated well with the investigation. Meanwhile, the CID served him another notice to appear before the IO on Wednesday.

The CID is investigating five cases pertaining to the controversy surrounding the Mutt and its seer. A senior CID official said that the seer will be questioned in connection with all these cases. The Mutt had filed a complaint against a city-based businessman for allegedly blackmailing the seer.

The police had arrested the businessman and his wife when their daughter lodged a complaint alleging that the seer had sexually harassed and raped her mother. The businessman’s relative Shyam Sundar Shastri committed suicide and the Puttur police registered a case of abetment and criminal intimidation based on the complaint by Shastri’s wife. The official said that a decision on subjecting the seer for medical examination will be taken after Wednesday’s questioning.

“The questioning will be done in each case being probed by the CID. The seer was asked questions with regard to the blackmailing case against the businessman couple. The interrogation will continue on the other cases on Wednesday,” the official said. On Tuesday, the seer was questioned in the presence of the IO and an advocate as per the court directions, the official said. After the day’s questioning, the seer’s advocate Shambhu Sharma said that the questioning was in connection with three cases.

“The CID official questioned the seer on two cases registered at the Honnavar police station pertaining to blackmailing by the couple and also in the case registered at the Girinagar police station in connection with rape and sexual harassment,” Sharma said.