Razing of structures: Limbavali draws flak over behaviour with woman

Whitefield police book case against the woman, but not against MLA despite complaint

September 03, 2022 09:40 pm | Updated 09:40 pm IST

Arvind Limbavali

Arvind Limbavali | Photo Credit: file photo

Arvind Limbavali, BJP MLA for Mahadevapura, allegedly behaved rudely and verbally abused a woman while on a visit to Whitefield where properties which had encroached upon storm-water drains (SWDs) were being razed. A video of the incident, which took place earlier this week, went viral on social media, drawing flak from the public and Opposition leaders. The woman, Ruth Sagai Mary, owned a property in the area, whose compound wall was demolished.

While Whitefield police have not registered an FIR against the MLA, despite a complaint from Ms. Mary, she has been booked under various sections of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act and Disaster Management Act, based on a complaint by a revenue inspector.

Woman complains

Meanwhile, another video clip of Mr. Limbavali speaking to a media channel that sought his response to criticism against him has gone viral, in which he is heard asking the media persons whether he had “raped her”, drawing further ire. Ms. Mary has now lodged a complaint with the Karnataka State Commission for Women.

After Congress MP Randeep Singh Surjewala criticised the MLA’s behaviour in a tweet and asked if he would issue an apology to the woman, Mr. Limbavali replied that he was ready to apologise, but did not do that in the tweet. Instead, he said: “But your party karyakarthe (worker) Mary had encroached Rajakaluve & was creating problems to people since last several years. Ask your party karyakarthe to vacate it. Ask her to stop her arrogance.” 

KPCC president D. K. Shivakumar, condemning the MLA’s behaviour, said he was “not fit to be a legislator”.

Papers snatched

In the first video, Mr. Limbavali could be heard telling officers around him to “take this woman out of here”. When the woman demands respect, he is seen snatching the papers from her hand without giving her a hearing. Speaking to The Hindu, Ms. Mary, who is also president of the Congress Minority Bloc, said that she approached the MLA only to have a conversation with him about her property as the records which were available with her did not show that there was encroachment. 

“Our compound wall was razed down as they said that it was attached to the SWD; but according to our records, there has been no encroachment and we were given no prior notice about the demolition,” Ms. Mary said.  She went to show the visiting MLA the original documents. “He snatched the documents from my hand, pulled my arm and brought his hand near my face to strike me. He behaved like a goonda. He told the people around him to hit me. I was in shock and disbelief,” she narrated.

She added that when she tried to lodge a complaint against the leader at Whitefield police station, officers only took her statement, but did not lodge an FIR. She demanded a public apology.

FIR against Mary

However, an FIR has been lodged against the woman at the Whitefield police station. Partha Sarathi, revenue inspector, Whitefield division, filed a complaint with the police against Ms. Mary under various sections of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act, Disaster Management Act and also under sections 427 (mischief) 447 (criminal trespass) and section 353 (assault or use of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty) on Thursday. 

In his complaint, Mr. Partha Sarathi said that the accused woman and her husband Vinay Prabhu, her son, and others confronted him and the BBMP officials and stopped the work when they were removing the encroachment on a storm-water drain at R. Narayanapura which caused flooding following heavy rains.

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