In her statement, the victim, who was a student at the Bengaluru Mutt, has told police that she was raped by the seer on two occasions. The first incident took place in 2006, when she was 15-year-old.
However, she only registered a complaint with the Girinagar police on August 29, 2015 after being threatened for years.
Later, the case was transferred to the CID.
In 2006, during Chaturmasa, an auspicious period observed by the Hindus, the victim was asked to visit the seer in his private room. “He told me that I had a curse and he could relieve me from it as he was ‘God’. Before I realised what was happening, he stripped me off my clothes, held my mouth tightly and raped me,” the victim told the police.
Later, she was threatened to not speak about the encounter for her curse to end. “He even insisted my parents to let me live in the mutt to pursue higher studies,” she said.
Her ordeal did not end there. In 2009, she was forcibly married at the behest of the seer, despite her parents’ resistance. “The seer threatened my parents that if they disagreed, then they would end up in trouble and eventually, I was married to Manjunath Hebbar, a native of Bhatkal,” she said.
In her complaint, the victim further narrates that when she shared her ordeal with her husband, instead of supporting her, he insisted that she visits the seer whenever she was called.
In 2012, the victim was raped by the seer, again.
During the course of the investigation in 2015, another woman slammed similar charges on the seer, which a City Civil and Sessions Court quashed in 2016 on grounds of ‘sex with consent’ and not rape.
This time, the CID has booked the seer, the victim’s husband Manjunath and seven other accused under various charges of the IPC.
Raghaveshwara Bharathi is one of the most influential personalities in Karnataka and shares a close nexus with the top political brass of the state.
After the CID filed a fresh chargesheet against him, Investigation Officer Dharanesh S.P. and the Deputy SP have been transferred to Madhugiri Sub-Division in Tumkur district with immediate effect.
The Mutt authorities have always declined the charges levelled against the seer and have maintained that he is being framed over vested interests.