Lingayat seer Murugha Shivamurthy Sharanaru, accused of raping minor girls, was finally taken into custody by the Karnataka Police on Thursday night - six days after the FIR against him was lodged.
Police sources said the accused seer will be produced before a court on Friday.
Chitradurga Rural police station inspector Balachandra took Sharanaru into custody from the premises of the mutt and brought him to the DSP's office. The seer will also undergo medical tests.
However, mutt sources claimed that the seer had surrendered himself to the police.
Sharanaru is facing charges under the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, after being accused of brutal sexual assault on minor girls. He is alleged to have been aided by a woman warden, junior pontiff and other staff in the commission of the crimes.
Junior pontiff Basavaditya, the Mutt's Secretary Paramashivaiah, and advocate Gangadharaiah, who are also accused in the case, are absconding.
(With inputs from IANS)