A brutal murder of a three-year-old boy has come to light at Moolegadde Mutt in Shivamogga district’s Hosanagara. Srujan, who was visiting the mutt with his mother Chaitra, was drowned in a pond inside the ashram. Three people have been arrested in the case, and the police say, the boy was killed because of a tiff between one of the mutt workers and his grandmother.
According to the police, Rudresh, who runs errands at the mutt, had issues with Srujan’s grandmother Rudramma, who is the sister of one of the seers, Channabasaveshwara Swamy.
“Rudresh had been caught stealing valuables at the Yogashrama many times, and Rudramma had kept him around because Rudresh was related to the Siddaganga Swamiji, which made them distant relatives. Rudramma used to make Rudresh perform chores he did not like doing. So, he decided to get revenge by killing Rudramma’s grandson,” said Shivamogga Additional Superintendent of Police, Muthuraj.
“It was well known in the ashrama that Rudramma doted on Srujan,” he added.
On Monday night, Rudresh allegedly served sambar laced with a tranquiliser to Rudramma’s family members, including Srujan and his mother Chaitra - Rudramma’s daughter. Chaitra, Srujan and the other guests - 82-year-old Gowramma from Belagavi, Mahadevi from Bagalkot, Shankaraiah Shastry of Sadashiva Shiva Yogashrama, and Mudhol - were drowsy after eating dinner.
“The six of us had come down from Belagavi for the coronation ceremony of the new seer, Shanthakumara Deshikendra Swamiji. On Monday night, Rudresh said that he was not hungry and he served us the sambar. Soon after we ate, all of us in began feeling drowsy and I remember not being able to open my eyes. When I woke up, I was in the hospital and the doctors said that we were all here because of food poisoning,” said Mahadevi.
Mahadevi then informed the doctors that Srujan, who was also with them that night, was missing. She filed a complaint with the Shivamogga police, who began looking for Srujan immediately.
“We found Srujan’s body floating in a pond located in the Yogashrama. We spoke to the victims, who had told us that Rudresh had served them the sambar that night and immediately took him into custody,” said Muthuraj.
A case of murder has been filed at the Hosanagara Police station against Rudresh. The police have also arrested two residents of Hosanagara, Rajashekhar and Kumar, in connection with the murder.
While Mahadevi and the others woke up on Tuesday morning, Srujan’s mother Chaitra, who is two months pregnant, has not yet woken up and is still undergoing treatment at the hospital.