Karnataka

‘25,000 pen drives distributed’: Kumaraswamy sees plot in sex abuse allegations against Prajwal

JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy has claimed that 25,000 pen drives with videos of women being sexually abused allegedly by his nephew, Lok Sabha election candidate Prajwal Revanna, were distributed before polls, and accused Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his deputy D K Shivakumar of a conspiracy.

Bengaluru: JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy has claimed that 25,000 pen drives with videos of women being sexually abused allegedly by his nephew, Lok Sabha election candidate Prajwal Revanna, were distributed before polls, and accused Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his deputy D K Shivakumar of a conspiracy.

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The former chief minister also sought to discredit the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the Congress government on April 28 to probe the charges against Prajwal of sexually abusing several women after videos allegedly involving him started making the rounds on social media.

It is not a Special Investigation Team but “Siddaramaiah Investigation Team” and “Shivakumar Investigation Team”, the JD(S) second-in-command, who is the son of party supremo and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, said.

MLA H D Revanna and his son and Hassan MP Prajwal have been booked for molesting their cook. In another case, Revanna has been booked and arrested for kidnapping a woman who was allegedly sexually assaulted by Prajwal. A case of rape has also been registered against Prajwal.

Addressing a press conference here, Kumaraswamy said the pen drives were circulated by police officers who were “threatened to do it”. “It (pen drive carrying videos) was released in Bengaluru Rural constituency (where the Congress candidate in the Lok Sabha elections is D Suresh, who is the brother of Shivakumar).

This was an April 21 development. On April 22, Poornachandra, our polling agent, gave a complaint to the District Deputy Commissioner, who is the Returning Officer,” the JD(S) leader said. “Poornachandra received a message at 8 pm on April 21 asking people to ‘follow a WhatsApp channel to see Prajwal Revanna’s sleaze video’.

There was a message on this WhatsApp channel, ‘Countdown for the release of Prajwal’s sleaze videos’, Kumaraswamy further said. According to Kumaraswamy, one Naveen Gowda had sent the message about the “countdown”.

In his complaint to the Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police of Hassan district, Poornachandra has named five people including Naveen Gowda, Karthik Gowda (Revanna’s driver), Chethan and Puttaraju alias Putty, he said.

It has been more than a fortnight since the complaint made on April 21, but no action has been taken against these five people, Kumaraswamy said and demanded that they should first be arrested for “mortgaging the modesty” of women in the videos. Kumaraswamy alleged that 25,000 pen drives were distributed in the entire state and cited a report in a regional daily to support his claim.

“My question here is why no action was taken. If someone posts something on social media, immediately houses are searched, and the person is made to sit in the police station. Why was no action taken against these five people despite a complaint?” he asked. “Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had confidently said that all the three JD(S) candidates in the Lok Sabha elections will be defeated,” Kumaraswamy said, adding, “It raises doubts about the involvement of many people.”

On April 25, Karnataka State Commission for Women Chairperson Nagalakshmi Chowdhary wrote to Siddaramaiah demanding an SIT probe into the tapes where Prajwal is allegedly seen sexually abusing several women.

The same night the CM gave his nod and ordered the formation of a SIT, Kumaraswamy said. “In that letter, Nagalakshmi Chowdhary did not mention the name of Prajwal or Revanna, but the chief minister called it ‘Prajwal Revanna’s explicit videos’ in his post on ‘X’ when he announced the formation of SIT. This shows how the conspiracy was hatched,” the JD(S) leader claimed.

He also alleged that the first complaint “framing” his brother H D Revanna and nephew Prajwal was typed on a computer in Bengaluru and was sent to Holenarasipura, which is represented in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly by Revanna, on April 28.

“It’s not a Special Investigation Team but there are two teams within it – one is ‘Siddaramaiah Investigation Team’ and another one is ‘Shivakumar Investigation Team’,” he charged. He said the ‘convenor’ of the “pen drive story”, Karthik Gowda should be traced first and brought before the people.

“Going through the conspiracies, one can doubt the intention behind the investigation because more than protecting the women victims, you are limiting the scope of the probe only to defame people,” Kumaraswamy further alleged.

He underlined that he was not trying to protect anyone. “I have said that in this case I will not protect anyone doing wrong. Stringent punishment should be given to the person involved in this crime as per the law of land.”

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