Sexual abuse case: Revanna seeks one week to join SIT probe in Bengaluru | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Sexual abuse case: Revanna seeks one week to join SIT probe in Bengaluru

May 01, 2024 08:50 PM IST

Last week, in the run-up to the elections in Hassan, a JD(S) bastion, videos emerged that showed purported sexual acts by the 33-year-old parliamentarian, sparking allegations of abuse and assault

Bengaluru: Prajwal Revanna, the member of parliament from Karnataka’s Hassan, who has been facing grave allegations of sexual abuse, broke his silence for the first time in five days and asked for a week to appear in front of a special investigation team set up on Saturday to probe the charges.

Prajwal Revanna has been suspended from the JD(S) amid allegations over sexual abuse (PTI Photo)
Prajwal Revanna has been suspended from the JD(S) amid allegations over sexual abuse (PTI Photo)

This came after, the Special Investigation Team (SIT), which is probing the leaked videos of Janata Dal (Secular) [JD(S)] leader, on Tuesday issued summons to the leader to appear before them for investigation. The SIT has also summoned Karnataka’s Holenarasipura MLA and Prajwal’s father HD Revanna in connection with the case in the next 24 hours. Prajwal is suspected to be in Germany.

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On Wednesday afternoon, however, in his first public comments since the formation of the SIT, Prajwal asked for a week to return to Bengaluru to join investigations. “As I am not in Bangalore to attend the enquiry, I have communicated to C.I.D [Crime Investigation Department], Bangalore, through my advocate. Truth will prevail soon”, he wrote on X. 

Also Read: Prajwal Revanna’s first reaction on Karnataka sex scandal: ‘Truth will prevail’

He attached a letter from “Jus Lex Advocates and Legal Consultants”, who asked for time to “appear in person on notice issued under section 41 of the code of criminal procedure.” “My client Prajwal Revanna is on a trip outside Bengaluru and needs seven days to return,” the letter said. 

His father HD Revanna on Wednesday said that he was not aware of the contents of the notice, but said that he would cooperate with the authorities. “I have the strength to face these conspiracies. I will face it. I did not do anything wrong, and I am prepared for any investigations and will fight it in a legal manner,” Revanna said. 

Government officials have said that Prajwal travelled to Germany on Saturday, a day after Hassan went to the polls in the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections on April 26. 

Last week, in the run-up to the elections in Hassan, a JD(S) bastion, videos emerged that showed purported sexual acts by the 33-year-old parliamentarian, sparking allegations of abuse and assault. 

Preliminary investigations showed that a pen drive that was circulated contained 2,976 videos, some a few seconds long and others that last a few minutes, most likely recorded from a mobile phone at the Revanna residences in Bengaluru and Hassan. 

On Saturday, CM Siddaramaiah set up an SIT to probe the charges following a request from the Karnataka State Women’s Commission, and a day later, a first information report (FIR) was registered in the case, against both Prajwal and his father HD Revanna. Prajwal is the grandson of former prime minister and JD(S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda.

The chief minister said that while the SIT tasked with probing the allegations was working around the clock, bringing him back to the country was of utmost importance.

Also Read: Prajwal Revanna, facing sexual harassment charges, is returning from Germany soon?

The FIR was based on a complaint of a woman who worked at their home, alleging she was sexually abused between 2019 and 2022, and a case under sections 354A (sexual harassment), 354D (stalking), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 509 (outraging modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code was registered. 

Facing mounting pressure, the JD(S) on Tuesday morning suspended Prajwal until the end of the SIT investigations, promising “permanent” action if he was found guilty, but stayed silent on HD Revanna. In the evening, however, the SIT, which took its first formal steps in the case, issued summons to both Prajwal and his father, pasting notices at their homes. 

Earlier on Wednesday, Siddaramaiah wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking for Prajwal’s diplomatic passport to be cancelled and for him to be brought back to India to face the law. 

“Sensing the impending police case and arrest, the accused Member of Parliament and NDA candidate for Lok Sabha Prajwal Revanna has fled the country and travelled abroad on March 27, 2024,. It is learnt from the reports that he is travelling abroad on his Diplomatic Passport,” Siddaramaiah wrote. 

“In this regard, this is to urge you kindly to move the ministries of external affairs and home affairs to take swift action to cancel the Diplomatic Passport of Prajwal Revanna and to take such other steps using Diplomatic and Police channels of the Government of India as well as International Police agencies to ensure the swift return of the absconding Member of Parliament to face the full force of law. The SIT of Karnataka will provide all the necessary details and fulfil all the legal formalities required in this regard,” the letter read. 

Meanwhile, in a rally in Hubbali, Union home minister Amit Shah sought to pin blame on the Congress-led government and said that they had sought to corner the BJP on the issue.

“I want to make clear today that if anyone commits an atrocity on a woman, BJP cannot stand with them. Listen, Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar, the government is yours, the government is of the Congress. If a step had to be taken, it had to be taken by them. As long as the elections were in the Vokkaliga belt, you did nothing. You did politics and let him get away....they(JDS) are our allies but I want to say clearly, that if anyone does crimes like this, the strictest of action must be taken,” he said. 

Speaking to reporters, Siddaramaiah also sharpened his attack on the JD(S) and party patriarch HD Devegowda, accusing him of helping his grandson flee the country. “How did Prajwal get a visa and passport? Did he go without the knowledge of the central government? HD Devegowda is aware of everything, and he sent him abroad with a plan,” he said. 

Responding to these allegations, JD(S)’s core committee chairman GT Devegowda said that the name of a former Prime Minister should not dragged into the controversy. “Any person who takes oath as an MP gets a diplomatic passport and they don’t need a visa to travel to European countries. Even Siddaramaiah knows this. In such a situation dragging Deve Gowda’s name into the controversy is not right,” he said. 

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