In a new twist to the alleged sex-for-job scandal in Karnataka, the activist Dinesh Kallahalli, who had filed a sexual harassment complaint against the BJP minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, now has approached the police to withdraw his complaint.
In a letter to the police sent through his lawyer, the activist has expressed displeasure over the case shifting focus to defaming the woman victim with her photos and videos going viral on social media. He was also ostensibly pained by the accusations that he was demanding extortion money.
Soon after the complaint, the activist had even raised concerns about his security and reported threat to his life, with “unknown persons” hovering around his house.
Following his decision to withdraw the case, the Cubbon Park police are now reportedly examining the contents of Kallahalli’s petition and seeking legal advice on a criminal complaint.
In his complaint on March 2 against the minister Jarkiholi, Kallahalli had alleged that the minister misused his powers to seek sexual favours from a woman, on the pretext of giving her a government job. In fact, Jarkiholi had resigned from the council of ministers after the complaint was filed and a sex-tape purportedly featuring him had gone viral on social media. Jarkiholi, who had been the Water Resources Minister in the current cabinet, is one of the powerful leaders in Belagavi and owns sugar businesses in the region.
In his letter to the police seeking to withdraw the complaint, Kallahalli wrote that he had wanted the police to “investigate” whether there was “sexual harassment” based on the information of a family member of the survivor.
“However, the issue boomeranged against me and the survivor, as many doubted our intention and made derogatory and baseless statements. Many have displayed a ‘shoot the messenger’ attitude in the issue, instead of supporting me and helping the survivor get justice,” he stated in the petition.
He spoke to regional channels and said that he was pained by the statement made by former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy that there’s ₹ 5 crore deal behind the incident. “Following the former CM’s statement, many doubt my intentions and are making baseless allegations.”
There is a smear campaign on to defame the woman as her photos and videos have gone viral on social platforms, instead of questioning the minister over his shameful act, he added.
Also, Kallahalli, who was accused of allegedly leaking the video on social platforms, denied this allegations and said the police should investigate and punish whoever leaked the video. “I gave the CD containing audio and video proofs only to the police. I don’t know who leaked those videos,” the activist said.