Mutt devotee sets herself ablaze, dies

A devotee of a mutt here died after she set herself ablaze at Markat village in Yelaburga taluk of the district on Monday. The 80-year-old head of the institution suffered serious injuries when he tried to rescue the devotee.

While the woman - Prabhavati Devi- succumbed to her injuries, the seer - Shivaiah Tatha of the branch mutt of the Shivananda Swami Mutt in Gadag - with 80 per cent injuries has been admitted to the Kumareshwar Hospital in Bagalkot for treatment.

It is said that Devi, the deceased, was unhappy with the choice of Tatha’s successor - Basavaraja Swami. The senior pontiff had got a will executed five years ago that Basavaraja Swami would be his successor.

Devi was reportedly intent on becoming the successor, on the grounds that she was serving the mutt for the past one decade. This had created differences between Devi and the senior pontiff.

The local residents and the police feel that this may have been the reason for the woman devotee to take the extreme step.

District Superintendent of Police P Raja said that they had registered a case of suicide and that they would be able to get more details once they speak to the senior pontiff, who is presently not able to talk.

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