The Bengaluru police on Thursday arrested Sandalwood actor and film producer Kumar Gaurav for allegedly raping, sexually harassing and intimidating a Dalit woman.
On Wednesday evening, 19-year-old Raksha* approached the Kumaraswamy Layout Police alleging that Kumar Gaurav had raped her on multiple occasions over the past two years and was threatening her repeatedly.
According to the police, Raksha met Kumar Gaurav in 2016 when she was pursuing her first-year diploma course in Bengaluru. Kumar allegedly convinced Raksha that he would offer her a role in a film he was producing.
“He told the woman that she is very good looking and that she only had to bring a couple of photographs for the audition. He also told her that the audition was just a formality as he had decided to offer her the role he had promised her,” the Kumaraswamy Layout Police said.
In November 2016, Kumar Gaurav allegedly called Raksha and told her to bring two of her photographs for an audition. He even offered to pick her up from the paying guest facility she was living in.
“He picked her up and took her to his residence in ISRO Layout and allegedly raped her. He then told her to not speak about it or he would inform her parents about the incident,” the police added.
Kumar Gaurav allegedly forced Raksha to send him intimate pictures of herself, threatening her with dire consequences if she did not.
“He had collected lots of nude videos of hers and would threaten to release them if she did not listen to him. He even told her that no one would marry her or want to be with her since she is a Dalit woman, who has already had sexual relations outside of marriage. He also told her that her only option was to become his mistress. Over the course of three years, he has allegedly raped her many times,” the police said.
Police say that Kumar Gaurav would book hotel rooms in the southern part of the city and force Raksha to go with him. “The victim says that she was taken to multiple hotel rooms. On march 16 this year, he had booked a room and locked her inside for an entire day and raped her. The victim was scared to come forward and file a complaint but after the latest incident, she said she could not take the mental trauma and decided to file a complaint,” the police added.
The Kumaraswamy Layout Police registered an FIR on Wednesday under Sections 376 (rape), 354D (sexual harassment), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC. Sections 3(1)(w) (sexually harassing a woman of Scheduled Caste of Scheduled Tribe), 3(1)(r) (intentional insult or intimidation to humiliate a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe in public), 3(1)(s) (abusing any member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe by caste name in public) and 2(va) (punishment for abusing a member of Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe by caste name in public) of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Prevention of Atrocities Amendment Act 2015 have also been included in the FIR.
The woman was a minor when Kumar Gaurav allegedly raped her in 2016. The police, however, have not booked him under Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act. When asked why the POCSO sections were not included, the police refused to comment.
Kumar Gaurav was remanded to judicial custody on Thursday.
* Name changed