Another rape case registered against seer Raghaveshwara

Another rape case registered against seer Raghaveshwara

The Girinagar police on Saturday registered a case of kidnap and rape against the Ramachandrapura mutt seer Raghaveshwara Bharathi. The seer is already being probed by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in a rape case that was registered in August 2014.

A 25-year-old woman, a freelance artiste, stated in the complaint that she was raped by the seer twice. She was first raped in 2006 when she was a Class 10 student at a school in Hosanagara, Shivamogga district, the headquarters of the mutt. She was again raped in 2012 when she had come to the mutt’s branch in Girinagar here, where the seer was observing ‘Chaturmasya’.

The woman, who is now married, has stated that on September 13, 2014, five men kidnapped her from her house in Bengaluru and took her to Hosanagara. She was threatened by them not to reveal anything about her case to the CID which was investigating a rape case against Raghaveshwara, the complaint said.

Accompanied by the activists of Janawadi Mahila Sanghatane, the woman went to the Girinagar police station on Saturday evening and lodged a complaint.

A senior police officer said that an FIR had been registered against the seer under the IPC Sections 376 (rape), 342 (wrongful confinement), 323 (causing hurt), 363 (kidnap) and 506 (criminal intimidation). “We have spoken to the victim and obtained the necessary information to take up further investigation,” he added.

 Vimala of Janwadi Mahila Sanghatane said: “The seer’s followers had told the victim that if she tried to speak about the incident to anyone else she would be punished by God and her life would be destroyed.”

According to Vimala, the victim’s family was poor and could not get her married. The family found a groom for her and requested Raghaveshwara to get her married. “Even after she got married, she was forced to have sexual relation with the seer. His followers had told her that whenever she was summoned by the swami, she should visit him happily and obey his orders.”

The members of the Sanghatane said the victim could not bear the physical torture and mental harassment and approached them and narrated her ordeal. “There are several other women who are facing similar problems but are scared to come out in the open.
We have given a complaint to the State Women’s Commission, too,” an activist said.
On August 28, 2014, the Banashankari police had registered a rape case against the seer on a complaint filed by a woman that her mother, who was a Ramakatha singer at the mutt, was sexually exploited by the seer. The case is being investigated by the CID.
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