Intellectuals write to Chief Minister seeking immediate arrest of Prajwal, oppose politicisation of crime

Updated - May 15, 2024 09:15 pm IST

Published - May 15, 2024 09:14 pm IST - Bengaluru

K.S. Vimala 

K.S. Vimala  | Photo Credit: file photo

As many as 107 writers, intellectuals, and activists from Karnataka wrote an open letter to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday demanding the immediate arrest of incumbent Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna, who is facing an investigation under multiple sexual abuse charges.

Listing 16 demands, the letter stated that the alleged sexual abuse and rape cases have led to civil society hanging its head in shame. “It is a criminal offence to record and store about 2,900 videos and photos, threaten victims, and kidnap them,” the letter stated.

‘For political mileage’

Expressing concern that the sex abuse of this magnitude was being used for political mileage during elections by political parties and leaders, the letter said: “The irresponsible behaviour of political forces is downplaying the original crime and its consequences. Members of Prajwal Revanna’s family, including his grandfather, father, mother, brother, uncle, and aunt, have held various positions such as the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister, and members of the State Legislature. The alleged crime has taken us back to the 19th century feudal set up that is against women.”

G. Ramakrishna

G. Ramakrishna | Photo Credit: file photo

“It is an insult to democracy that despite these episodes coming to light, the election for the Hassan Lok Sabha seat was not put off, and the accused was allowed to contest. Even after the crime came to light, the accused was allowed to go scot free between April 22 and April 26. The failure of agencies to track his movement has raised questions about the safety of women in society,” the letter stated.

“The statements and counter-statements, caste-based remarks, and gender-insensitive comments by politicians, as well as reports projecting victims as criminals, have shattered the society. This development is demeaning the honour of victims, who are further finding themselves in a difficult position and are hesitant to lodge complaints,” the letter pointed out.

Victims under stress

“The families of the victims who have been exposed are subjected to severe mental harassment. Family members and children of those families are under great stress. In this context, we demand the immediate arrest of Prajwal Revanna and the creation of a fearless atmosphere for lodging complaints. We also urge the Chief MInister to address the victims and provide them with strength and release video statements,” the signatories demanded in the letter.

Senior writers and activists, including Vijaya, G. Ramakrishna, Vasundhara Bhupathi, K Shareefa, Sabiha Bhumi Gowda, Kale Gowda Nagawara, Nagesh Hegde, Meenakshi Baali, K.S. Vimala among others, are signatories of the letter.

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