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Deve Gowda Warns Prajwal Revanna to Return and Surrender, MEA Processing Request to Cancel his Diplomatic Passport

Deve Gowda Warns Prajwal Revanna to Return and Surrender, MEA Processing Request to Cancel his Diplomatic Passport

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, May 23: The Ministry of External Affairs has started processing a request from the Karnataka government to cancel the diplomatic passport of alleged sex-offender Prajwal Revanna, even as his grandfather and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda on Thursday issued him a final warning to return to India immediately and surrender before the police or to face anger of the entire family.

“MEA has received a letter from the Karnataka government for cancellation of diplomatic passport in respect of MP Prajwal Revanna. This is being processed,” MEA sources said on Thursday. The confirmation was communicated after the Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah wrote a letter to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging for the cancellation of the passport of JD(S) leader Prajwal Revanna, sitting MP from Hassan in Karnataka and the NDA candidate for the seat in the current Lok Sabha elections and accused of sexual assault by several women.

Mr Deve Gowda who issued the warning through his open letter posted on X, said, “I have issued a warning to Prajwal Revanna to return immediately from wherever he is and subject himself to the legal process. He should not test my patience any further.”

In the letter with the title “My Warning To Prajwal Revanna,” Mr Deve Gowda said, “This is not an appeal that I am making, it is a warning that I am issuing. If he does not heed to this warning, he will have to face my anger and the anger of all his family members. The law will take care of the accusations against him, but not listening to the family will ensure his total isolation. If he has any respect left for me, he has to return immediately.”

The 33-year-old Prajwal, facing serious charges of sexual abuse, has triggered a national uproar. Allegations include rape, sexual assault, disrobing women, and forcibly video-graphing sexual acts to intimidate the victims.

“I spoke to the media about Prajwal Revanna on 18 May when I was headed to the temple to offer pooja. It took me some time to recover from the shock and pain he has inflicted on me, my entire family, my colleagues, friends and party workers. I have already said he should be given the harshest punishment under the law if found guilty. My son and former Karnataka Chief Minister, Shri. H.D Kumaraswamy, has advocated this line since the day the scandal broke,” Mr Deve Gowda wrote in his public letter.

Prajwal reportedly fled to Germany on April 27, a day after polling concluded in Hassan, where he was re-contesting his seat. His sudden departure, coming just days before the allegations became public, has raised suspicions. A Blue Corner Notice has been issued by Interpol at the behest of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), and an arrest warrant from a Special Court is currently active. Prajwal is the son of Mr Deve Gowda’s second son, HD Revanna.

HD Revanna, a JDS MLA is also accused in cases of molestation and kidnapping. He was arrested earlier this month but is now out on bail. The case involves a man accusing him of kidnapping his mother, who was employed as a housemaid at his residence for six years. The accuser claims that a video recently surfaced, depicting Prajwal Revanna sexually assaulting his mother, and she disappeared shortly afterwards.

Me Deve Gowda’s letter culminates in a stern ultimatum to Prajwal: return to India and submit to the legal process. Gowda warns that failing to heed this command will result in Prajwal facing the wrath of his family and complete isolation. He vowed that neither he nor any family member would interfere in the legal proceedings.

The scandal has elicited a strong reaction from various quarters. Over 100 intellectuals in Karnataka have petitioned Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for Prajwal’s immediate arrest and demanded protective measures for the witnesses. They also call for investigations into those who may have aided Prajwal’s escape.

Mr Siddaramaiah has written multiple letters to the Prime Minister urging for swift action to cancel Prajwal’s diplomatic passport, which was allegedly used to flee the country. Despite these appeals, there had been no significant response from the central government so far.

Stating that “People have used the harshest words against me and my family in the last few weeks. I do not wish to stop or criticise them,” Mr Deve Gowda said he could not convince people that he was unaware of Prajwal’s activities. “I cannot convince them that I have no desire to shield him. I cannot convince them that I am not aware of his movements, and that I was not aware of his foreign trip. I believe in answering my conscience. I believe in God and I know the almighty knows the truth.”

He said he would “not comment on political conspiracies, exaggerations, provocations and falsehoods that have been maliciously spread in recent weeks.” “I am very sure people who have done it will have to answer God and pay for it heavily one day. I place my truth and my burdens at the feet of the Lord.”

He has also said he would ensure that there would be no interference in the enquiry against Prajwal from him or his family members. “There is no emotion in this regard in my mind whatsoever, there is only the cause of justice for those who have suffered as a result of his alleged actions and misdeeds. It is of utmost importance to me to earn back the trust of the people. They have stood by me for over sixty years of my political life and am deeply indebted to them. As long as I am alive, I will never let them down,” he added.

Prajwal Revanna earned notoriety after hundreds of pornographic videos were circulated that showed him forcing himself on women of varying ages over several years. The allegations are being probed by a Special Investigation Team set up by the Karnataka government.

Activists, party workers, writers and ordinary citizens, who have seen the political graph of Mr Deve Gowda’s family members over the decades, are of the opinion that the young parliamentarian hardly did the work expected from an elected representative of the people. He never showed interest in on-going infrastructure projects or development work in the constituency, they say.

“The people of Hassan have stood by Deve Gowda. All of a sudden, Deve Gowda nominated his grandson, 28-year-old Prajwal Revanna, for the Lok Sabha election in 2019. What was his contribution to the constituency? Had he spent time with people? He won because of the name that his grandfather had earned over the years,” local leaders said.

Prajwal Revanna grew up in an environment where his parents had unquestionable influence. “The family enjoyed the support of people, advantage of caste, and possessed political power. The combination of popular support and political power was his undoing. He did not understand the value of the position he had been elected to. Otherwise, he would not have committed what he has been accused of,” they said.

While the grandfather had to struggle in his political career, “his grandson did not make any such effort. He was nominated when the ground was well-prepared for someone like him. As soon as he was elected, he got access to unquestionable power. It seems he felt he could get away with anything,” he added.

Many families in Holenarasipur and parts of Hassan taluk ensure that the names of H.D. Deve Gowda and his family members are mentioned in wedding invitations. “You will find the names of all six members — H.D. Deve Gowda, (wife) Chennamma, (son) Revanna, (daughter-in-law) Bhavani, (grandson) Prajwal and (grandson) Suraj — in almost all wedding invitations in the taluk,” they said.

Well before getting elected to Parliament, Prajwal Revanna was known for misusing the position and power of his father H.D. Revanna, who had a stint as PWD Minister in Karnataka. After getting elected as MP, he chose to stay put in official quarters of his grandfather in Hassan. “He had multiple houses to spend time in. And, there was no shortage of money to spend. It seems nobody in the family reminded him of his responsibilities as an MP,” the locals said.




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