Lingayat Seer Death in Ramanagara: Police Arrest Three for Abetting Suicide
Police have arrested three people, including a pontiff of another mutt in Basavanlingeshwara Swami's suicide case.
The Quint DAILY
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Ramanagara district police have arrested three people including a pontiff of an another Lingayat mutt for allegedly abetting the suicide of Basavalingeshwara Swami, the head pontiff of Kanchugal Bandemutt in Karnataka.
According to the police, the three accused were blackmailing the deceased pontiff, allegedly using personal videos and audio clips shared between hi him and an unidentified woman.
In an interaction with the reporters in Ramanagara, Superintendent of Police, K Santosh Babu said that the police had arrested three people in relation to the suicide of Lingayat seer Basavalingeshwara Swami.
The police have identified the three accused as Mrutyunjaya Swami, pontiff of another Lingayat institution called the Kannur Mutt, Neelambike Kumari, a 21-year old engineering student from Doddaballapura and Mahadevaiah, Kannur Mutt's advocate and a retired teacher.
Pontiffs Were At Loggerheads?
A case of abetment of suicide and common intention of accused has been filed as per sections 306 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. The police also produced all the accused before a magistrate court, which has sent them to judicial custody for a period of 14 days.
A police officer, who is part of the investigation and wished to remain anonymous, told The Quint,
Kannur Mutt Swami and the now deceased Swami of Kanchugal Bandemutt are first cousins. They were initiated into monastic order years ago, but the two fought over several issues—personal and financial. Based on the evidence that we have collected so far, it seems that the Kannur Mutt Swamiji had conspired with two others to honeytrap and blackmail Basavalingeshwara Swami.
The pontiffs were embroiled in a property litigation and were also at loggerheads over being the more dominant spiritual leader in the region.
The police also assert that the plan to blackmail Basavalingeshwara Swami was conceived by Kannur Mutt pontiff out of jealousy and anger. As per the investigation, the 21-year-old student allegedly called the Kanchugal Bandemutt Swami and recorded her entire video correspondence with him. These videos were later circulated among other pontiff opposed to Basavalingeshwara Swami.
K Santosh Babu, Superintendent of Police in Ramanagara, told The Quint, "We filed the case based on all the evidence that we have collected."
The two important proofs are the suicide note and the videos of the pontiff that are making rounds. The deceased pontiff clearly alleges blackmail in suicide note and we are also producing new videos that were used as honey-trapping before the court as evidence.K Santosh Babu, SP, Ramanagara
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