BENGALURU: Karnataka's Shiroor Mutt seer Lakshmivara Theertha Swami's death is shrouded in mystery as the doctors who attended him are suspecting poisoning as the cause of the saint's death.
The 55-year-old Lakshmivara Theertha Swami died at a private hospital in Manipal on Thursday.
In a statement issued from Manipal, the Kasturba Hospital said that the seer was brought to the hospital early on Wednesday from Udupi in a critical condition.
''Though proper medical care was provided to him, he was declared dead at 8.30 am. There is suspicion of poisoning and toxicological samples have been sent for tests," the statement said.
Meanwhile, the seer's younger brother Purvasharma Acharya has also filed a complaint with the police seeking a thorough investigation.
"We have registered a case but will investigate it after we obtain the autopsy report on the cause of death," a police official from Udupi was quoted as saying by media reports.
Doctors treating the seer said that he was suffering from breathlessness, severe hypertension and massive gastrointestinal bleeding.
The Shiroor Mutt seer had a history of diarrhoea.
"Though a team of doctors and specialists had put Swami on a ventilator, blood transfusion and dialysis, his condition deteriorated rapidly, resulting in his death," the statement issued by the Kasturba Hospital, quoting Superintendent Avinash Shetty, said.
The seer was in the news in the past for giving his mutt's presiding deity (Hindu god Krishna) idol to Eshapriya Theertha, a junior seer of Admar mutt, as he was indisposed and could not conduct the daily rituals.
According to mutt sources, when Swami recovered and asked the junior seer to return the idol, the seers of the ashtanga mutts refused and instead asked him to appoint a junior to take care of the Shiroor mutt.
The swami, however, declined to appoint a junior and threatened to file a case against the Admar mutt and the ashtanga seers.
Shiroor mutt and Admar mutt are part of the ashtanga mutts set up by 13th century Hindu philosopher Madhvacharya at Udupi - a pilgrim town in the state`s coastal district.
Swami ascended the Paryaya Peetha for the third time in 2010, after two-year tenures during 1994-96 and 1978-80.
Amid suspicion over the seer's sudden demise, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara had assured that a probe would be ordered in the case after the police study the autopsy report and consult with doctors who examined the seer.
State's Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy too expressed shock and mourned the revered seer`s demise.
(With Agency inputs)