Engineering Student Honey-trapped Karnataka Seer Who Died By Suicide: Cops


Basavalinga Swami, 45, was found dead on October 24 (File)


Days after the death by suicide of a Lingayat seer, Basavalinga Swami, in Karnataka, a 21-year-old woman and a seer from a rival mutt have been arrested for allegedly blackmailing him.

The young woman, an engineering student, befriended Basavalinga Swami and recorded intimate video calls in April, the police said. Those call recordings were allegedly used by the woman and Mrityunjaya Swami, a leader at the Kannur mutt, to blackmail Basavalinga Swami.

Basavalinga Swami, 45, was found hanging from a window in his prayer room at Kanchugal Bande Mutt, which he headed, on October 24.

He left a two-page suicide note, in which he alleged that he was being blackmailed and harassed over some videos.

“An unknown woman has done this to me,” his note reportedly said.

The man arrested for plotting to blackmail him, Mrityunjaya Swami, allegedly wanted to get back at Basavalinga Swami in a long-running feud. The police also said he wanted to take over the Kanchugal Bande Mutt that Basavalinga Swami had headed since 1997.

“The main reason for the blackmail was that these people wanted to take revenge – there was a dispute between the two seers. They planned to trap him in February and filmed the video in April,” said police officer S Santosh Babu.

While investigating the death by suicide, the police examined the seer’s phone calls and questioned some 25 people before zeroing in on Mrityunjaya Swami and the woman and fellow seer helping him.

The woman allegedly “honey-trapped” Basavalinga Swami on Mrityunjaya Swami’s bidding. The two then blackmailed the seer and pressured him to give up his post, the police said.

Basavalinga Swami had paid a huge sum to his blackmailers already.

He is believed to have panicked when Murugha Mutt seer Shivamurthy Murugha was arrested for allegedly assaulting schoolgirls.

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