Leaders of the Veerashaiva Lingayat community took a resolution on Thursday to appoint a new leader to the Murugha Mutt in Chitradurga since its head, Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting minor girls, reported The Hindu.

Former MLA H Ekanthaiah, who was present at the meeting of the community, said that Sharanaru should either abdicate the religious chair or be removed from the mutt, reported The Indian Express. He also sought government intervention to resolve the matter

Sharanaru, the leader of the 400-year-old mutt was booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act on August 27 after two school girls alleged that the seer sexually abused them for years during their stay at the seminary hostel.

He was arrested on September 1. On Tuesday, Karnataka High Court had denied bail to Sharanaru in the case.

On September 2, Sharanaru was also charged under the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act after it was found that one of the complainants was a Dalit.

The seer allegedly used to call the girls to his chambers on some pretext and sexually assault them. The complainants have alleged that he had been assaulting one of them for the past three-and-a-half years and the others for the past one-and-a-half years.

Despite the allegations against him Sharanaru had decided not to step down as the head of the Murugha mutt.