Prajwal case: HDK and BJP dragging Vokkaliga community to divert public attention from truth, say Congress leaders from the community

They demand that JD(S) leaders should cooperate with the Special Investigation Team set up to probe the sexual abuse case

Updated - May 09, 2024 09:49 am IST

Published - May 08, 2024 08:40 pm IST - BENGALURU

Revenue Minister Krishna Byre Gowda

Revenue Minister Krishna Byre Gowda | Photo Credit: File Photo

In a show of unity, prominent Vokkaliga leaders of the ruling Congress, including Ministers, on Wednesday accused JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy and BJP leaders of trying to cover up the alleged sexual abuse case involving Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna by diverting the public attention from ensuring justice to multiple victims to the alleged role of some leaders in mass distribution of pen drives containing video clips connected to the case.

They termed the episode of sexual abuse in Holenarsipur taluk of Hassan district as the “world’s largest sex scandal” and demanded that JD(S) leaders should cooperate with the Special Investigation Team (SIT), which has been set up to probe the sexual abuse case that became the major poll issue during the second phase of Lok Sabha election in the State. 

At a press conference, Ministers Krishna Byre Gowda, N. Cheluvarayaswamy, M.C. Sudhakar, and Ramalinga Reddy, MLC Dinesh Guligouda, and MP G.C. Chandrashekar alleged that Mr. Kumaraswamy has been deliberately dragging the Vokkaliga community into the alleged scandal and diverting the attention of the media and the public from the actual case involving multiple instances of sexual abuse.

The scandal, Mr. Byre Gowda alleged, destroyed not only the mangalsutras of many Hindu families but also the dignity of life and respect of women. Mr. Kumaraswamy hatched a “surgical strike” by dragging the names of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar into the case and hurling charges against the Congress without any substance, he said.

The leaders involved in the sexual abuse should be punished and it was the duty of the government to provide justice to victims. Instead of demanding a CBI probe, the JD(S) leaders should cooperate with the SIT for early completion of the investigation, he said.

Mr. Byre Gowda said BJP leader Devaraje Gowda and Mr. Kumaraswamy held talks on the matter and they should undergo a “truth test” before the deity at Hasanamba temple in Hassan.

Instead of handing over pen drives related to the sexual abuse to the State police chief or the Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka, Mr. Devaraje Gowda circulated them to BJP leaders and others, Mr. Byre Gowda claimed.

“Did the Congress ask the Hassan MP to indulge in sexual abuse? Did the Congress ask MLA H.D. Revanna to kidnap a 62-year-old woman?” the Revenue Minister wondered and asked Mr. Prajwal Revanna to surrender before the SIT to ensure justice for victims.

The Revenue Minister said, “The government is equally concerned about the circulation of videos and other materials and passed on the message to the SIT so that cases will be booked against all those people involved in further circulation of the videos”.

Mr. Cheluvarayaswmay said JD(S) leaders should have faith in the SIT and cooperate with the probe agency. “The scandal has made all people of Karnataka hang their heads in shame,” he said.

The Agriculture Minister said it was unwarranted on the part of Mr. Kumaraswamy and BJP leader R. Ashok to drag the Vokkaliga community in the case. Mr. Kumraswamy should also stop speaking in singular against the KPCC president, he said.

Mr. Sudhakar said Mr. Devaraje Gowda spoke against Mr. Shivakumar anticipating the problem and there was inconsistency in his talk. JD(S) and BJP leaders have been trying to close the case by dragging the community’s name, he alleged.

Mr. Reddy said the probe should punish the guilty and provide justice to the victims.

On Tuesday, Mr. Ashok said the Vokkaliga community would turn against the Congress following the arrest of Mr. Revanna. He said the Lingayat community turned hostile against the Congress after the former Chief Minister late Veerendra Patil was met with injustice by the party.

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