Protests broke out at Gangavathi in Koppal district on Thursday after a video clip purportedly showing Kalmatha mutt Swamiji Kottureshwara in an objectionable position with a woman surfaced online.
Followers crowded around the mutt seeking the removal of Kottureshwara while few other devotees said the allegations were untrue and it was a bid to tarnish his image.
According to sources, the Lingayat Mutt is 400 years old and Kottureshwara was made Peethadhipathi (chief) in the year 1995. The video is believed to have been recorded by Kottureshwara’s ex driver, Mallaiah Herur, who told reporters that he had been supplying women to the sheer for over 10 years now. The woman seen in the alleged sex video is said to have been brought to the mutt to cook for the mutt chief in 2010.
Herur filed a complaint of threat against Kottureshwara with the Gangavathi police. In the complaint, Heur said that Swamiji threatened to murder him after the alleged sex video surfaced online. “I worked for Swamiji for the past 20 years, but Swamiji is threatening me to murder me after the video surfaced on social media,” he said.
Koppal town police sub-inspector Uday Ravi said no complaint had been registered against Kottureshwara after allegations of sexual harassment, but Herur had lodged a complaint against the sheer alleging threats to life. A trustee member of the mutt said a decision has been taken to ouster Kottureshwara.