Tension prevailed for a short time at the Virakta Kalmutt in Gangavathi town in Karnataka’s Koppal district on Thursday after Kottur Swamiji of the mutt was reportedly caught in a sex scandal, the Deccan Herald reported.
The incident came to light and drew attention, after a video purportedly showing the Kottur Swami with a woman in a hotel room was streamed by news channels.
Hundreds of devotees rushed to the Kalmutt, to express their anger and demanded that the seer should not return to the mutt. Meanwhile, sensing trouble, Kottur Swami is reported to have switched off his mobile phone and gone to an undisclosed location after the news spread in the Karnataka town, the Deccan Herald report adds.
Soon, devotees took to protests and demanded the ouster of the 56-year-old pontiff, while some other followers maintained that the accusation were just unproven allegations.
A group of followers termed the video as a conspiracy against the seer, while another group accused him of tarnishing the temple's tradition and image. The community elders had to intervene later, to restore normalcy and avoid untoward incidents.
Meanwhile, the seer's car driver, Mallayya Swamy, who is believed to have videographed the episode and leaked it to media, has lodged a complaint with the local police claiming that he had a threat to his life from the seer.
This is not the first time such controversies erupted in Karnataka. A similar such incident was reported in Muddevanavara Veera Simhasana Samsthan Mutt after villagers staged a protest over the Swamiji’s son, who allegedly indulged in a sexual act in the mutt.
Dayananda Swami, son of Maddevanapura Math seer Parvatharaja Shivacharya Swami, was reportedly caught on tape.
Similar arguments were made at the time, with one group demanding the accused’s ouster, while the other defended them as a conspiracy. The Chikkajala police had to be called in, to control the situation.