Former Karnataka Chief Minister Yediyurappa booked under POCSO Act for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor; BJP leader denies charge 

The complainant, the victim’s mother, alleged the assault took place at Yediyurappa’s residence on February 2, 2024 when they had gone to seek his help in a cheating case 

March 15, 2024 01:43 am | Updated 11:14 am IST - Bengaluru

B.S. Yediyurappa, former Chief Minister of Karnataka 

B.S. Yediyurappa, former Chief Minister of Karnataka  | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

The Sadashivanagar police have booked former Chief Minister and senior BJP leader B S Yediyurappa under Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. 2012, for allegedly sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl on February 2 at his residence in Dollars Colony, Bengaluru.

Mr. Yediyurappa has denied the allegations, in a statement issued in the morning on March 15.

Police sources confirmed to The Hindu that a case had been booked under Section 8 of the POCSO Act and Section 354 A of the Indian Penal Code past midnight on March 14.

The victim, in this case, is said to be a rape victim in an unrelated case pending elsewhere, sources said. 

As per the FIR and the complaint by the victim’s mother, filed on March 14, accessed by The Hindu, the victim’s mother and her minor daughter had allegedly gone to Mr. Yediyurappa’s house on February 2, 2024, “seeking his help in a cheating case related to business”.

According to the complainant, she asked the former Chief Minister to get a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to be set up to probe her cases “as she was cheated of several crores”.

The complainant said she had a conversation with Mr. Yediyurappa on this matter. This was not the first time that she and her daughter had met him. “My daughter considers him as grandfather and calls him thatha (grandfather). I used to call him appaji (a father figure),” according to the complainant. 

“During the nine-minute conversation, I informed him that my daughter is a rape victim. He replied that he knows about her case,” the complainant alleged, adding that the former Chief Minister later took the minor into a room.

After they had been in the room for about five minutes, the complainant alleged, Mr. Yediyurappa opened the door of the room and her daughter “rushed out weeping”. 

“Mr. Yediyurappa told me that my daughter is mentally disturbed. As my daughter was crying, I asked her what happened, and she claimed that she had been molested,” the complainant alleged.

When confronted, the complainant further claimed that Mr. Yediyurappa was apologetic and promised to help her in the cheating case. 

“However, when I found my daughter to be emotionally broken, I refused the offer. Later, I again confronted Mr. Yediyurappa and demanded an explanation to which he told me not to reveal the incident, in an intimidating manner. I went back feeling threatened and did not have the courage to report the matter. However, I now thought over the issue, and felt that this is too serious an issue and needs to be reported,” the complainant claimed, explaining the delay in filing the complaint.

A sensitive case: Home Minister Parameshwara

Home Minister G. Parameshwara told mediapersons that Bengaluru City Police had registered a FIR against Mr. Yediyurappa based on a complaint given by a woman. “It is a very sensitive case, connected to a former chief minister and a minor girl. We will not be able to reveal any more details at this stage. Investigation is on,” he said.

He added, “Some people have said that the woman is mentally unstable. Officers have told me that the complaint was typed and brought to the police station. Investigation is on.”

Will face case legally, says Yediyurappa

On March 15 morning, reacting to the case, the former Chief Minister denied the allegation, and said he will face the case legally.

“Around one-and-a-half months ago, a mother and daughter had come to my house. They used to come often, but we had not entertained them. But that day, I called them inside because I saw them crying and asked them what their problems were. She told me injustice had been done to her and sought help. But she started speaking things against me after some time. I thought the person had a mental health issue. I called Bengaluru City Police Commissioner B. Dayananda and asked him to help them and sent them to him. He got their details. When they said they were in trouble, I even gave them some money,” Mr. Yediyurappa told mediapersons. “Now, I have learnt that the woman has twisted the facts and lodged a complaint against me. I will face it legally.”

He added, “Such things happen when one tries to help people.”

When quizzed whether he saw a political conspiracy behind the case ahead of Lok Sabha elections, Mr. Yediyurappa said he wouldn’t make such an allegation. “Why will I make such an allegation?”

On candidates for Lok Sabha elections

Sending out a message that he was unfazed by the case, Mr. Yediyurappa said he was confident that the BJP will win over 25 seats in the Lok Sabha polls, and the people of the State were responding positively. He also said that former CM Jagadish Shettar is unwilling to contest from Belagavi, but he had convinced him to do so. He expressed confidence that the party would also bring around K. S. Eshwarappa very soon.

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