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Prajwal Revanna Sent to SIT Custody till June 6

Prajwal Revanna Sent to SIT Custody till June 6

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, May 31: The rape-accused suspended Janata Dal (Secular) member of the Lok Sabha from Hassan in Karnataka Prajwal Revanna, who was arrested at the Bengaluru airport in the wee hours of Friday on his return from Germany, was sent to the police custody till June 6.

Prajwal was produced before the 42nd ACMM court judge in the city civil court after his medical examinations at the Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital in Bengaluru.

Prajwal Revanna, accused of raping and sexually exploiting multiple women, was arrested by an all-women police team. Three women officers escorted the MP from Bengaluru airport as he returned from Germany post-midnight, amid massive public outrage and a huge political controversy.

The MP boarded a flight home after the Karnataka High Court refused his appeal for pre-arrest bail. Sources said his grandfather, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, also shot off a message to him, warning that he would face his family’s wrath if he failed to return now.

“I apologise to my parents… I was in depression (over political rivals’ attacks on the sex assault charges). I will appear (before the police team) on May 31. I will cooperate to the best of my abilities… I have the blessings of God,” Prajwal Revanna said in a video statement posted on X on Monday.

The details of the arrest were posted on X by former top cop-turned politician Bhaskar Rao. “The fugitive MP was escorted out of the Bengaluru Airport by an all women police team, a decision of SIT that gave a strong positive sign that strong women police force of Karnataka will not only deal with the perpetrator but send a strong message to the hundreds of women whose modesty was outraged and create confidence for them to come forth… Good SIT Chief,” his post read.

A senior leader of Janata Dal (Secular), Prajwal Revanna is defending the family bastion, the Hassan Lok Sabha seat. He had left for Germany on April 27, after polling in his constituency ended. Videos purportedly showing him sexually assaulting multiple women surfaced later in the day and were widely circulated on social media.

Prajwal Revanna was taken to the Crime Investigation Department (CID) office in Bengaluru, where he will be questioned by the Special Investigation Team probing the case. His lawyer has denied that any rape took place.

The matter has also morphed into a huge political row, with the BJP in alliance with Mr Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal Secular in Karnataka. The state leaders of the BJP have distanced themselves from the matter and the Hassan MP has been suspended by his party. Prajwal Revanna’s uncle and party chief HD Kumaraswamy has said there could be no question of forgiving anyone who had committed a crime.

Prajwal was aboard Lufthansa flight LH0764 which landed at the Kempegowda International Airport and was handed over to police officials waiting at the airport. He was taken to the CID office where he spent the night in the custody of the Special Investigation Team probing the case. The anticipatory bail petition filed by Mr Revanna, which will now turn into a regular bail plea, is also scheduled to be heard on Friday. The verdict on the anticipatory bail plea of his mother, Bhavani Revanna, is also expected.

The SIT has also filed an application in the High Court questioning his MLA father H.D. Revanna’s bail in the kidnapping case of a woman from KR Nagar, Mysore. According to SIT, Mr Revanna should continue to remain in custody until this investigation is over and therefore, the SIT has moved the High Court to cancel the bail.

Mr Revanna was arrested earlier in connection with a kidnapping case on April 29. He was granted conditional bail by a special court for people’s representatives.

In the first reaction after the arrest, Karnataka Home Minister G. Parameshwar said as Mr Prajwal had promised, he has appeared and SIT has taken custody of him.

He said “The SIT wanted to send a message that women have been wronged in this episode, and that empowered woman police officer to bring him to the SIT office.” The Home Minister said “There have been statements from Mr Prajwal that there is a conspiracy against him. I request that this should not be made any political further.”

He further added that “SIT is capable of investigating the case in its entirety and let the investigators do the job. I am myself. I am refraining from making any political statement and request everyone to not make a political event out of this.” Mr Prajwal faces three sexual abuse cases, while his mother has sought anticipatory bail in an alleged kidnapping case.

Though Ms Bhavani is not an accused in the case, SIT has reportedly desired to investigate her role. In the same case, Prajwal’s father and JD(S) MLA HD Revanna, Mr Deve Gowda’s second son, is also an accused of sexually harassing the cook of his house, who was also sexually abused by his son Prajwal.

The 33-year-old Prajwal, the NDA candidate for re-election from Hassan Lok Sabha constituency, is facing charges of sexually abusing many women. He has been so far booked in three cases of sexual assault. He had left for Germany on April 27, a day after Hassan went to polls. A ‘Blue Corner Notice’ seeking information on his whereabouts was issued by the Interpol earlier, following a request by the SIT via the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The MP, terming the cases against him as false and alleging political conspiracy, had said in a video statement issued earlier this week that he had gone into depression. He had also filed an anticipatory bail plea at the Principal City and Sessions Court for Elected Representatives on May 29, which issued a notice to the SIT to file objections, before posting the hearing for Friday.

While the Congress government has formed a SIT to probe the cases, the BJP and JD(S) — NDA partners — have demanded that it be handed over to the CBI, and action be taken against those behind the wide circulation of explicit videos.

The cases of sexual abuse came to light after a number of pen drives allegedly containing explicit videos involving Prajwal were reportedly circulated in Hassan, ahead of Lok Sabha polls there on April 26.

Mr Deve Gowda had recently issued a ‘stern warning’ to Prajwal, asking him to return to the country and face probe into the sexual abuse allegations, while asserting there will be no interference from him or other family members into the enquiry. The JD(S) supremo had reiterated that his grandson should be given the harshest punishment under the law “if found guilty.”




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