Karnataka: Lingayat seer found dead; suicide note alleges blackmail
A 45-year-old seer of the Lingayat sect, Basavalinga Swami, was found dead in mysterious circumstances in his room in Karnataka's Ramanagara district on Monday. A case of unnatural death was registered by the police on Tuesday, and an investigation has been set into motion. Initial reports suggest it is a case of suicide as a two-page note, which alleged blackmail, was recovered by cops.
Why does this story matter?
- The mysterious death of Swami has raised questions as it is the second similar-fashioned death in the Ramanagara district since December—when the Chilume Mutt head was found dead.
- In the latest case, the recovered suicide note reportedly alleged a few persons were blackmailing the seer and wanted to remove him from the position he held for 25 years at the 400-year-old Kanchugal Bande Mutt.
Was found hanging from window grill
The body of Swami, who had been Kanchugal Bande Mutt's chief seer since 1997, was found hanging from a window grill inside his room. The incident came to light when his devotees broke into his room as the seer didn't open the door, and calls on his phone went unanswered, reported Hindustan Times. He celebrated his silver jubilee as the mutt's head recently.
Unusual morning created doubts
Reportedly, Swami hadn't opened the pooja room's doors even after 6:00 am on Monday—which was unusual as he would generally keep the room open by 4:00 am daily. The staff was alarmed as it remained closed, and Swami didn't respond to their knocks and calls.
A two-page suicide note found
A two-page suicide note was found beside the seer's body in the room, said reports. Citing sources, PTI reported that the "suicide note" has accused some people of blackmailing him by assassinating his character and has "even named them." However, the police have refused to reveal any specifics of the note. His body, after all medico-legal formalities, was buried at the mutt on Monday.
Calls to seer being traced
The police have, as per reports, said that the last few calls on the seer's phone are now being tracked down to probe the blackmail angle in the case. It has also come to light that "some people" wanted Swami to be removed from the position. Cops have said that all the angles are being investigated to crack the case.
Second similar death in the state since December
A similar death incident involving a seer was also reported from Solar village of Magadi taluk in the same district, Ramanagara, in Karnataka last December. The seer, who was also named Basavalinga Swamy, was found hanging in a "similar fashion," as reported by NDTV. He had reportedly died after being upset over his "deteriorating health" and was also depressed.