More than a year after a complaint of rape was filed against Raghaveshwara Bharati Swami, the Karnataka CID have framed charges of rape and invoking divine influence.
Addressing a press conference on Saturday, senior CID official Ashok Kumar said that the chargesheet had been filed with the First Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in Bengaluru. The charges include Sections 376 (2) (rape) and 508 (committing an act by inducing a person to believe that s/he will be rendered an object of the divine displeasure).
According to the chargesheet, Raghaveshwara Bharathi Swami allegedly raped the singer in nine different districts in Karnataka and besides Jodhpur, Kolkata and Mumbai. The seer allegedly raped her even at the Girinagara Mutt on June 26 and 27, 2014.
In August 2014, a singer with the Ramachandrapura Mutt Premalatha Divakar had accused the seer of raping her on multiple occasions.
Running into 1341 pages in four volumes, including 151 witnessesâ€™ testimonies, the chargesheet says that traces of semen and other discharges obtained from Premalathaâ€™s clothes have also been included as evidence. It records witnesses have testified that she was often seeing going to the seerâ€™s room.
The seer faces three other complaints where he has been named as accused â€“ another complaint of rape by a 25-year-old woman, a complaint by Premalatha alleging that she was being intimidated by the seer, and abetting the suicide of Shyam Prasad Shastry, the brother of Premalathaâ€™s husband Divakar.
One complaint has been lodged by associates of the Raghaveshwara Bharati against Premalatha and Divakar, accusing them of blackmailing him. The coupleâ€™s daughter Anshumati had originally filed the complaint against the seer, accusing him of raping her mother. She filed a complaint with the police after her parents were arrested on charges of blackmail. She had alleged that her parents had been arrested on charges of blackmail because the seer had learned that Premalatha was preparing to file a complaint against the seer.