Updated: March 18, 2021 8:27:30 am
The young woman, who allegedly featured in a video CD with Ramesh Jarkiholi that forced him to resign as Karnataka Water Resources Minister on March 3, has been missing since March 2, her father has told police in a complaint. He has also claimed that she has been abducted and is being held captive.
In his complaint to the APMC Yard police station in Belagavi Tuesday, the woman’s father said the family has not been able to reach her since March 2 — it was the day TV channels played the video clip. He claimed his daughter was whisked away from near her PG accommodation in Bengaluru and was being held captive at a secret location.
His complaint states that “she has been forced into filming fake indecent videos” which are being distributed to the media and that she is also being harassed sexually.
The family told police that before she disappeared, she told them that her images had been morphed to create a sex CD, and she was going to switch off her phone and go away for a while.
Police have been hunting for the woman and two former mediapersons who are suspected to be her associates. Police said an organised group was behind the production of the video CD and its release to the media, as well as alleged efforts to blackmail Jarkiholi.
“We have pasted notices for her to appear and provide her statement by assuring all protection. An email has been sent to her address. There has been no response whatsoever from her so far,” a senior Bengaluru police officer said.
In a video statement released to the media on March 14, and attributed to the missing woman, it was stated that she did not know how the video made its way into the public domain. It also levelled charges at Jarkiholi.
Following his resignation, Jarkiholi also filed a police complaint, saying an attempt was made by a gang to extort money and blackmail him. He said that the CD was made public on March 2 after he refused to give in.
A Special Investigation Team of Bengaluru police was constituted to investigate the case on the basis of a letter that Jarkiholi wrote to the government, saying the release of the CD and the complaint against him were the handiwork of a group of people, with the backing of his personal and political rivals, to end his political career.
The SIT is looking at the role of a group of over seven persons in the creation and distribution of the CD, and has questioned several persons.
Apart from the woman, the SIT is looking for a former journalist who is alleged to have played a key role in the whole episode. He has been missing for over a week. The SIT visited his home in Sira in Tumkur last week, and asked his wife to appear for questioning.
On Wednesday, the BJP and Congress engaged in a Twitter fight over the political connections of persons suspected to be linked to the CD episode, and shared photographs with each’s leader.
A third key missing person in the case is a video editor with a private TV channel who is alleged to have uploaded the CD to the Internet on March 2.
The SIT has conducted searches at the premises of an advertising agency in Bengaluru where the CD was allegedly edited before being placed in the public domain. Computers and devices have been seized for investigation.
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