Prajwal Revanna sexual violence case: Arrest warrant against Revanna issued by court, JD(S) decries political conspiracy

The arrest warrant had been issued by a special court for MPs and MLAs in Bengaluru following an application by the SIT formed to probe Prajwal's role in the sexual violence case
Image: PTI

A long-awaited move in the Prajwal Revanna sexual violence case was reported on May 19 with a special court for MPs and MLAs in Bengaluru issuing an arrest warrant against the sitting Janata Dal (Secular) MP Prajwal Revanna. The said development came in the in the sexual assault case that has been filed against Revanna, who is at present absconding and is in Germany on a diplomatic passport, in which his father and Holenarasipura MLA H D Revanna is also an accused.

The move followed an application by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that was formed to investigate Prajwal’s alleged atrocities on women, as per local media reports. The said SIT had been formed on the recommendations of Karnataka State Commission for Women chairperson Nagalakshmi Chowdhary.

Previously, a Blue Corner notice had been issued against Prajwal Revanna. A blue notice permits Interpol to gather details regarding an individual’s identity, whereabouts, or actions linked to a criminal inquiry. Karnataka Home Minister, G Parameshwara had earlier provided that the state government has requested Interpol’s help in repatriating Revanna, as per a report of the Hindu.

Brief background of the case:

Electronic devices like pen drives and CDs had emerged in the public domain on April 21, ahead of the April 26 Hassan parliament poll, which had suggested that Prajwal Revanna, the Hassan MP, had allegedly carried out sexual assaults on several women in Hassan and recorded the attacks on his phone camera. It is to be noted that as many as 2,900 files with videos and images of the sexual encounters of the MP were found in the pen drives that were leaked. A helpline had also been set up by the SIT to report incidents of attack by the MP. At present, a total of three cases of sexual assault have been registered by three women against Prajwal Revanna.

On May 13, JD(S) leader and Karnataka Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) HD Revanna was granted conditional bail by Bengaluru court. The said bail was granted by the Special court in connection with a kidnapping case linked to sexual abuse allegation against him and his son Prajwal. The said MLA had spent after seven days in jail after four-day police custody.  While granting bail, Judge Santhosh Gajanana Bhat had imposed conditions that required the accused to furnish a bond for Rs 5 lakh, along with two sureties. In addition to this, H D Revanna has been barred from leaving the country, entering KR Nagar in Mysuru district, and interacting with the witnesses. He has also been asked to cooperate with the SIT investigation.

Blame games and leaked audios- political angle to a case of sexual violence against women

Reaction of Janata Dal (Secular) party supremo Deve Gowda: Since the breaking out of this news, a deafening silence had been maintained by many. Finally, on Saturday, H. D. Gowda broke his silence over the charges levelled against Revanna and stated that he has no objection if action is taken against his grandson in such case that he is found guilty.

However, H.D. Gowda maintained his stance that the said case as well as the allegations levied against his son and grandson are false and fabricated. As per a report of the Hindu, H.D. Gowda stated that “… I don’t want to comment on things that are going on in the court regarding Revanna. Prajwal Revanna has gone abroad, regarding that Kumaraswamy (Gowda’s other son and state JD(S) chief) has on behalf of our family said it is the duty of the government to take action in accordance with the law of the land.”

Furthermore, he said that “There are several people connected to this (sexual abuse cases), I don’t want to take anyone’s names. Kumaraswamy has said that for those who are involved in this matter, action should be taken against all of them, and the affected women should get justice and compensation. There is no objection from us for taking action against Prajwal. But people have come to know (facts) about the allegations made against Revanna, and how the case has been created. In one case he has got the bail, in another case, there is a judgment the day after tomorrow… I don’t want to comment on it.”

Leaked audio suggests political angle: On May 19, a new audio went viral in which two BJP party leaders can be heard having a conversation regarding leaking of the now leaked videos and the consequences it might have on the survivors’/victims. L.R. Shivarame Gowda (BJP) is allegedly heard trying to convince Devaraje Gowda (BJP) to distribute pen drives containing the obscene videos allegedly involving Prajwal Revanna. As per multiple media reports, during the said conversation, L.R. Shivarame Gowda (BJP) was asking Mr. Devaraje Gowda to “distribute the pen drives and pass on the blame for it on former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy [JD(S)] as a case of the latter wanting to promote his son.”

As per a report of the Hindu, in the audio, L.R. Shivarame Gowda (BJP) was allegedly convincing Mr. Devaraje Gowda (BJP) to hand over all the videos pertaining to the case to him by saying: “Do not underestimate Mr. Kumaraswamy, former Prime Minister H.D. Gowda and his family. The government is determined to ruin their lives. I am wondering why Mr. H.D. Gowda has not committed suicide till now.”

While convincing Devaraje Gowda (BJP), Shivarame Gowda (BJP) can then be heard asking to not worry much about consequences of distributing pen drives. “What is wrong about sharing the videos?” he asks in the audio clip. Upon Devaraje Gowda (BJP) pointing out the impact that the leaked videos will have on the lives of the survivors/victims, L.R. Shivarame Gowda (BJP) is heard telling him that Union Home Minister Amit Shah (BJP) recently said in Chennai that Karnataka is not a safe place for women.

JD(S) brings in the angle of conspiracy: As the leaked audio hit the social media and news, the JD(S) raised a serious allegation against the current State Congress government, stating that they hatched a conspiracy to take away the life of former Prime Minister H.D. Gowda.

In furtherance to this, the party, which is an ally of the current ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), alleged that State Congress president Mr. Shivakumar is the “original owner of the pen drive factory,” accused him of leading the “sleeper cell” of pen drive distribution.

As per the JD(S) party, a total of four conspiracies lie behind the whole sexual violence case, which involve bringing discredit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, tarnishing the image and leadership of Mr. Kumaraswamy, breaking the JD(S)-BJP alliance and plotting to kill Mr. HD Gowda.

Only a day before this, on May 19, Devaraje Gowda (BJP) had claimed that the deputy Chief minister D.K. Shivakumar was offered a sum of 100 crore to accuse Mr. Kumaraswamy of masterminding the circulation of pen drives.



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