Five days after a 41-year-old woman from Mysuru filed a sexual assault complaint against a self-proclaimed godman and her husband, the police are yet to arrest the accused in the case.
Kamala*, a resident of Mysuru’s Ramakrishnanagar, was allegedly facing harassment from her husband Rajesh as they were deeply in debt after multiple investments which went wrong. Mahesh*, who had become a devotee of Sri Vidyahamsa Bharathi Swamiji of Thridhama Kshetra in Mandya’s Pandavapura taluk, was convinced that the self-proclaimed godman would end all his troubles says Kamala in her complaint.
“He would tell me to be devoted to the swami and tell me to go with him to meet him. I refused and would tell my husband that it was redundant to approach the swami and that he could not help us. On September 3 too he asked me to go along with him to meet the swami but I refused. He told me that the swami could rid us of our financial problems,” Kamala says in a complaint to the police.
At around 1 am on September 4, the doorbell to Kamala’s house rang and she assumed it was her husband since he had not yet returned home.
When Kamala opened the door, Vidyahamsa, her husband and a few of the godman’s henchmen allegedly barged into her house, stopping her in her tracks.
“When they barged into my house, the swami grabbed me by the hair and began hurling lewd abuses at me. He said that having sexual relations with him would only benefit me. He said that he was a divine being and I must do as he says. My husband and the swami began beating me, while telling me that I must serve the godman. The swami dragged me to my bedroom, stripped me off my clothes. He was naked as well and he began kicking me in my private parts, my chest and my stomach,” Kamala’s complaint states.
Vidyahamsa allegedly set her clothes on fire. Kamala managed to escape from her house and was about to run to her neighbours for help when her husband and Vidyahamsa intercepted her.
“I was naked. They dragged me into the Fortuner car owned by the swami. They forced me to sit on the swami’s lap. He sexually assaulted me in the car for over an hour and my husband kept encouraging him. He told me that it would rid our family of all our financial problems and the swami’s divinity would ensure that if I gave myself to him. They dropped me off at my brother-in-law’s home later,” the complaint adds.
Vidyahamsa allegedly warned Kamala of dire consequences if she did not willingly decide to have sexual relations with him. “He even gave me three days to make a decision,” the complaint says.
Scared of being killed if she did not oblige to his demands, Kamala approached the Kuvempu Nagar Police and filed a complaint on the morning of September 5. But the Kuvempu Nagar Police are yet to arrest Mahesh and Vidyahamsa.
Police sources claim that Vidyahamsa, who has a powerful presence in the Mysuru region is feared by many, including several police officers. “They are hesitating to arrest him because they are scared of what might happen to them. The swami also has political support so the police are waiting for the medical report before proceeding,” the police officer added.
Police Commissioner Subramanya on Sunday told the media that arrests would be made only after preliminary investigation. So far, the Kuvempu Nagar Police have registered a case under sections 354(A) (sexual harassment), 354(B) (assault or use of criminal force with the intent to disrobe), 149 (unlawful assembly), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 448 (trespass), 506 (criminal intimidation), 307 (attempt to murder), 363 (kidnapping), 354 (assault or use of criminal force with the intent to outrage modesty of a woman), 323 of the IPC.