Updated: March 8, 2021 3:09:02 am
The advocate for the social activist who filed a police complaint accusing BJP leader and former Karnataka minister Ramesh Jarkiholi of harassing a woman has sought to withdraw it.
An advocate for the activist Dinesh Kallahalli approached Cubbon Park police Sunday with a signed letter requesting withdrawal of the complaint filed against Jarkiholi on March 2. “Dinesh Kallahalli has given a letter seeking to withdraw the complaint. I have given the letter to the police and the police have said the complainant must come to seek withdrawal and explain since this is a serious case. Dinesh Kallahalli will appear before the police to explain his position,” the advocate S K Patil said.
In his letter, Kallahalli has said he would like to withdraw the complaint as no FIR had been taken up and the woman has been portrayed as being involved in entrapping the minister.
Jarkiholi resigned as Water Resources Minister on March 3 after video clips allegedly featuring him and a woman were aired on TV channels and social media. Soon after, Kallahalli approached the Bengaluru police commissioner with a complaint and copies of the recordings, saying Jarkiholi coerced the woman seen in the videos into intimacy by promising her a government job.
Police are yet to register an FIR since the woman could not be traced and no one gave a statement on her behalf other than Kallahalli who has said he does not know her or members of her family and that he was given the recordings and information by an acquaintance.
There is speculation in political circles that a honeytrap conspiracy was plotted against Jarkiholi by his rivals.
“As per my information, there is a Rs 5 crore deal in the release of the CD three days ago and it also involves blackmail. The activist says he has got three or four more CDs. He must be arrested first and questioned on how he got these CDs,” former CM and JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy has said.
Meanwhile, BJP MLA and Jarkiholi’s brother Balachandra Jarkiholi said Sunday the CD was a fake and that the “operation” to record, upload and share the recordings cost Rs 15 crore. “There is the woman and there were four men assisting her in the operation and three persons directing the entire operation.”
The MLA said he would try to convince his elder brother Ramesh to file a criminal complaint against Kallahalli, the woman seen in the videos and people part of the “operation”.
“Please do not call the woman a victim, she is a part of the entire conspiracy. The intention was to destroy the name of the Jarkiholi family,” he alleged.
The Belagavi region, meanwhile, is witnessing protests by supporters of the Jarkiholi brothers. Some supporters have issued threats to Congress leader Lakshmi Hebbalkar over suspicion of her alleged role in the matter. Hebbalkar was at one time a close associate of Ramesh Jarkiholi, when he was with the Congress and a minister in the Siddaramaiah-led government (2013-2018).
In recent years, she has fallen out with him and allied with state Congress president D K Shivakumar. This has resulted in a rivalry between Shivakumar and Hebbalkar on one side and Ramesh Jarkiholi on the other.
This rivalry is considered one of the reasons behind Jarkiholi moving to the BJP in 2019 with 16 Congress and JDS MLAs, leading to the fall of the Congress-JDS coalition government.
C P Yogeshwar, a close associate of Ramesh Jarkiholi and state minister, has alleged that conspiracy was hatched by Jarkiholi’s rivals in Belagavi and Kanakapura — Shivakumar and the activist Kallahalli hail from the region.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.