Minor girl held in captivity by ‘miracle-loving swami’ rescued
A minor girl who was kept in captivity by a ‘fake’ swami as part of his ploy to build a ‘reincarnation story’ has been rescued by the taluk administration in Jhunjarwad village of Athani taluk of the district.
Following reports in a section of electronic media, the minor girl was rescued by Athani Tahsildar Aparna Pavate who reached the spot along with police on Tuesday night. The rescued girl is now recuperating in Athani taluk hospital.
The police have arrested the self-proclaimed seer Sadashiv of Appayya Math in Jhunjarwad village, along with his two accomplices who have been identified as Suresh Mutagi of Indi taluk and Gurupadgouda Patil of Jamkhandi taluk.
Mr. Sadashiv reportedly has been listed as rowdy-sheeter in Bagalkot. According to local residents, the ‘swami’ was known for staging ‘miracles’ and was reportedly fond of publicity.
The police said Mr. Sadashiv had reportedly stage-managed immolation of a minor girl before some devotees and videographed the same. He had told the devotees that the girl would reincarnate as a goddess on the 21st day of her immolation and as part of his ploy had kept another girl under captivity in an underground room.
However, media houses, who received video of the immolation from the ‘swami’, questioned his acts. The taluk administration swung into action and arrested Mr. Sadashiv. Deputy Commissioner N. Jayaram, who visited the spot, told reporters that stern action would be taken against the guilty.