Karnataka SIT summons Prajwal Revanna, father over sexual harassment case | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Karnataka SIT summons Prajwal Revanna, father over sexual harassment case

By, Bengaluru
May 01, 2024 05:18 AM IST

The SIT is currently probing the FIR filed by the woman and the thousands of videos that have been leaked.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT), which is probing the leaked videos of Janata Dal (Secular) MP Prajwal Revanna, on Tuesday issued summons to the leader to appear before them for investigation, said an SIT official on a condition of anonymity.

Mahila Congress members with party MLA and other leaders during a protest against JD(S) MP Prajwal Revanna on his alleged involvement in sexual abuse, in Hubballi, on Tuesday. (PTI)
Mahila Congress members with party MLA and other leaders during a protest against JD(S) MP Prajwal Revanna on his alleged involvement in sexual abuse, in Hubballi, on Tuesday. (PTI)

Though confirming that notice has been issued to both Hassan MP and his father Holenarasipur MLA HD Revanna, the SIT official didn’t divulge when they have been asked to appear before the team.

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This comes days after the Karnataka government ordered the formation of a SIT to probe a series of obscene videos circulating in Hassan district of Karnataka involving Prajwal Revanna, purportedly showing sexual acts by the 33-year-old leader with multiple women, sparking allegations of abuse and assault. Preliminary investigations showed that a pen drive in Hassan contained 2,976 videos, some a few seconds long and others that last a few minutes, with most seemingly recorded from a mobile phone at the Revanna residences in Bengaluru and Hassan.

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

Amid the allegations within the party that the Gowda family was aware of the video, yet fielded Prajwal Revanna, the JD(S) suspended the sitting MP during a critical core committee meeting in Hubballi on Tuesday. The suspension order, former chief minister and Prajwal’s uncle HD Kumaraswamy said, would be in force as long as the SIT submits its report.

Read more: Prajwal Revanna's ex-driver says he gave sex tapes to BJP, not Congress

Revanna left the country for Germany on April 27, one day after the Lok Sabha elections in the state, with his father HD Revanna telling reporters on Monday that he would return if he was called for investigation

The SIT is currently probing the FIR filed by the woman and the thousands of videos that have been leaked. A senior police officer said: “A failure to appear before SIT after the summons will make him an absconder.”

On Monday, state home minister G Parameshwara said that Prajwal will be asked to return to India by the SIT. He said that an SIT probe would be complete soon and a report would be submitted within 10 to 15 days in such cases. “In this case, the directions have been given on the time frame to the investigation officers. If not for the time frame, the probe will be conducted for years,” he added.

The SIT being headed by Criminal Investigation Department (CID) AGDP BK Singh, includes two women superintendents of police. “The investigating officers will take the pen drives containing alleged sex videos and send them to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) for verification. The evidence needed to be collected,” said the home minister.

According to an official of the SIT, the probe in the case is in its initial phase and electronic evidence is being collected. “Our primary task is to identify the women and request them to make statements as part of the case. We can’t divulge how many we have identified and how many have given the statement,” the officer added.

Read more: Prajwal Revanna suspension: Who said what as JDS MP named in sex scandal case

On Monday, senior officers of Hassan police met with the SIT team and handed over the details of the probe. According to SIT officials, the SP of the district briefed the senior officers and handed over a copy of the videos as well.

On Saturday, the CM set up the SIT, following a request from the Karnataka state commission for women. “The chairperson of the women’s commission had written to the government, requesting an SIT investigation, and this decision has been made in response to their request. Explicit video clips are being circulated in Hassan, indicating potential instances of sexual assault,” Siddaramaiah said.

Meanwhile, the National Commission for Women (NCW) issued a statement on Tuesday condemning the alleged sexual abuse involving Prajwal Revanna. “These events endanger women’s safety and perpetuate a culture of violence. NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma has taken suo moto cognisance in this matter and sent a letter to DGP Karnataka demanding a swift action from authorities to apprehend the accused and submit a detailed report within three days,” the statement read.

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