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JD(S) petitions Governor Gehlot seeking CBI probe in sexual abuse case involving MP Prajwal

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BENGALURU, May 9: The JD(S) on Thursday petitioned Karnataka Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot, seeking his intervention recommending a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the sexual abuse charges against Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna.

The party led by former prime minister H D Deve Gowda claimed that it is “impossible to expect an impartial inquiry” from the Special Investigation Team (SIT), which is probing the case, as it is allegedly being influenced and misguided by the state government.

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A delegation of party leaders led by former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy submitted a memorandum to the governor.

In it, they alleged that deputy chief minister D K Shivakumar is the “mastermind” behind the circulation of nearly 3,000 videos of Prajwal allegedly sexually abusing several women, and requested the governor to advise chief minister Siddaramaiah to drop the DCM from the cabinet.

The 33-year-old JD(S) Lok Sabha poll candidate from Hassan, Prajwal Revanna, who is Kumaraswamy’s nephew and the grandson of H D Deve Gowda, is facing sexual abuse charges.

The scandal has raised a political storm, with the ruling Congress and BJP-JD(S) engaged in a slugfest.

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While the Congress government has formed a SIT to probe the cases, the BJP and JD(S) — NDA partners — have demanded that the cases be handed over to the CBI, and action be taken against those behind the wide circulation of the explicit videos.

The JD(S) has already suspended Prajwal from the party.

“…it is highly impossible to expect a free, fair and impartial inquiry from the Special Investigation Team, as the team is influenced and misguided by the state government. Therefore, we seek the kind intervention of His Excellency in recommending the case for a thorough inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation,” the petition read, detailing the developments in the case so far.

“Investigation conducted by SIT is biased, partial and not transparent as investigation is not as per established procedures as they are threatening the alleged victims to file complaints without governing their privacy and modesty,” it claimed.

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“It is a well-known fact that Shivakumar is behind the distribution of more than 25,000 pen drives (containing about 3,000 explicit videos) in bus stands, parks and other public places throughout Hassan parliamentary constituency,” the JD(S) alleged, adding that “the state government has utterly failed to stop the circulation of alleged videos causing a lot of agony, sorrow and indignity to the families of victims.”

The regional party further noted that the state government has failed to arrest and act against persons like “Navin Gowda who was directly involved in circulation of videos” through social media platforms and through the distribution of pen drives containing obscene material depicting women allegedly being exploited by Prajwal — in spite of a specific complaint against him in Hassan Crime Police Station.

“We also appeal to His Excellency (governor) to advise the chief minister to drop Shivakumar from the cabinet as he is the mastermind in the circulation of videos containing obscene scenes of women,” it added.

Earlier in the day while speaking to reporters, Kumaraswamy alleged that the SIT probing into the sexual abuse charges against Prajwal Revanna, is “losing track”.

The former chief minister, while maintaining that he wants the guilty to be punished in accordance with the law, raised questions on the progress of the probe by the SIT constituted by Karnataka’s Congress government.

Also raising questions regarding the investigation against Prajwal’s father and his brother, MLA H D Revanna, who is facing kidnapping charges, Kumaraswamy asked why the woman who was allegedly kidnapped has not been produced before the court days after she was rescued.

“It has been how many days since the kidnapped woman was brought here? Has her statement been recorded under section 164 of CrPC (statements recorded by magistrate)? Has she been produced before the judge? It has been five days, why has the woman not been produced before the judge? From where was she brought? Was the ‘mahazar’ done? Was she brought from some farmhouse as claimed and reported in the media?,” he asked.

Revanna was remanded into judicial custody till May 14 by a magisterial court here on Wednesday. He was in the custody of the SIT after being arrested in the alleged case of kidnapping a woman.

The case was filed based on a complaint by her son, who also accused the MLA’s son Prajwal Revanna of having sexually assaulted her.

According to the police, the abducted woman was subsequently rescued. (PTI)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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