107 intellectuals write to CM Siddaramaiah seeking arrest of Prajwal Revanna, assurance to victims

Bengaluru: Demanding that the Chief Minister ensure the immediate arrest of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda’s grandson Prajwal Revanna, 107 authors and thinkers from Karnataka have written an open letter to Siddaramaiah.

The letter lists 16 points and states that the “mass rape scandal is utterly shameful and has caused civil society to hang its head in shame. It is a criminal offense to sadistically record and store about 2,900 videos and photos, threaten victims and kidnap…”

They have expressed concern over the politicisation of the alleged sex video scandal involving JD(S) MP Prajwal Revanna that is downplaying the original crime of rape and its consequences.

“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 Prime Minister, Chief Minister, and members of the state legislature. The scandal involving this family has regressed us to a 19th-century feudal set-up that is against women. The scandal has revealed that the Prajwal Revanna family has carried out an autocratic rule under the guise of democracy,” the letter charges.

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

“It is even more shocking that the biggest scandal of this magnitude is being used for political mileage during elections by political parties and leaders,” the letter mentions.

“The statements and counter-statements, caste-based remarks, and gender-insensitive comments by politicians, as well as reports projecting victims as criminals, have shattered society and peace of mind. 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 observes.

“The families of the victims who have been exposed are subjected to severe mental harassment. Family members and children of those families are unable to find solutions and are under great stress. Reports suggest that three to four victims have attempted suicide,” the letter underlines.

“In this context, we demand the immediate arrest of Prajwal Revanna and the creation of a fearless atmosphere for lodging complaints. We also urge you, CM, to address the victims and provide them with strength and release video statements,” the authors demand.

“The enquiry must be conducted within a timeframe, and Prajwal Revanna’s former car driver, Karthik Gowda, who claimed that the videos were with him, must be immediately arrested. Cases must be lodged for attempting to sabotage the election. Prajwal Revanna’s mother should also be questioned, and she should be treated as an accomplice.

“Intelligence and home department officials who allowed Prajwal Revanna to flee must be sacked and probed,” the intellectuals state.

“About 1.6 years ago, Prajwal Revanna obtained injunction orders not to telecast or report defamatory content against him. Obtaining stay orders for such a long duration as a representative of the people is a violation of the people’s right to know the truth. The government should lodge a case in this regard,” the letter adds.

The authors also demand the transfer of all government officials recommended by Prajwal Revanna and HD Revanna in Hassan District and the withdrawal of all government facilities given to the family.

“Former CM Kumaraswamy, on one hand, obtains injunction orders from the court not to connect him or his father, former PM HD Deve Gowda, to the scandal. On the other hand, Kumaraswamy holds press conferences on this matter. The government should vacate the stay order,” the letter demands.

Veteran authors Dr Vijaya, Dr G Ramakrishna, Dr Vasundhara Bhupathi, K Shareefa, Sabiha Bhumi Gowda, Kale Gowda Nagawara, Nagesh Hegde, Meenakshi Baali, and others have written the letter.

IANS

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