Chandni Naik, formerly with the BJP, was attacked by BJP MLA Siddu Savadi and supporters on November 9.

MLA Siddu Savadi assaulting councillor Chandni NaikScreengrab
news Controversy Tuesday, December 01, 2020 - 13:18

The husband of a former BJP councillor with the Mahalingapura Municipal Council in Karnataka’s Bagalkote has alleged that his wife Chandni Naik had to undergo an abortion after she was assaulted by Terdal legislator Siddu Savadi on November 9. The video of MLA Savadi and his supporters assaulting Chandni Naik (32) on the steps of the Mahalingapura Municipal Council, had gone viral on November 9. 

After the attack, Chandni Naik was taken to the Mahalingapura Government Hospital, where she was treated for her injuries. “My wife had become very weak after the attack. Although she spoke to the press a few days later, she was getting tired frequently,” Nagesh Naik said. He alleged that on the night of November 23, Chandni began complaining of severe cramps.

He said that his wife was three months pregnant with their third child. “She was in a lot of pain when we took her to the hospital. The doctors told us it would be better to abort the foetus. We don’t know much about this. Let the police talk to the doctors. They will find the truth. When we asked the doctors whether the assault could have been the cause for her condition, they said it is a possibility,” Nagesh Naik alleged. 

Read: Video of Karnataka BJP MLA pushing and assaulting a woman goes viral

BJP MLA denies allegations

BJP legislator Siddu Savadi denied allegations that the assault resulted in Chandni having to undergo an abortion. He claimed that he had learned of Chandni undergoing a tubectomy after she gave birth to her second child seven years ago. “So how could she have a miscarriage? There has to be an investigation into this for the truth to be revealed,” Siddu Savadi told the media. 

After repeatedly questioned by the reporters, Siddu Savadi said that he had made a mistake by assaulting the woman. “Yes, what happened to her on November 9 was wrong and unfortunate. That should not have happened. Initially my supporters were pushing her but towards the end, I only went to help her and did not want to hurt her. Let there be an investigation,” Siddu Savadi said.

He accused Congress leaders of trying to malign his reputation and said that he has requested Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa to order a high-level probe into the matter. 

The attack on November 9

Chandni Naik was a BJP councillor with the Mahalingapura Municipal Council. The election for President of the Council was to take place on November 9. As Chandni Naik had aspired to be one of the nominees, she told TNM that the BJP leaders did not want her to give her the opportunity to become their President. On November 7, she held talks with Congress leaders and decided to vote on behalf of the Congress during the election as she was promised Presidency if she supported the Congress. MLA Siddu Savadi and his supporters stopped her from entering the building on November 9 as they did not want her and several other councillors, who supported her, to cast their votes fearing a defeat, Chandni’s husband Nagesh Naik told TNM. 

In the video, Chandni Naik and two other women corporators can be seen walking up the steps of the Council’s building, when she is stopped by MLA Siddu Savadi. The legislator and his followers can be seen pushing her and some of his followers even assault her. The police personnel can initially be seen standing on the sidelines. However, despite their attempts to intervene, Chandni Naik is pushed down on the stairs, while Siddu Savadi’s supporters can be seen assaulting her. The police, however, intervene once more and rescue her. 

MLA Siddu Savadi alleged that Chandni Naik had accepted Rs 15 lakh from the Congress party to vote against the BJP during the election of the President for the Council. “That’s why certain party workers were upset and attacked  her on November 9,” he said. 

What the police say

Bagalkote SP Lokesh Jagalasar said that three FIRs have already been registered at the Mahalingapura Police Station regarding the case and investigation is on. On November 12, both Chandni Naik and another woman BJP councillor Godavari Baat had filed separate complaints against MLA Siddu Savadi and his supporters stating that they were assaulted outside the Council’s office. MLA Savadi too had filed a counter complaint against Chandni Naik stating that she was attempting to defame him for political gains. “Let the investigation get over and we will be able to give you a clear picture of what happened,” SP Lokesh said. 

Opposition outrage

Former Congress MLA from Terdal, Umashree, who lost to Siddu Savadi in 2018, said that the incident is equivalent to murder. “The life of a foetus is not a small matter. MLA Siddu Savadi and his supporters brutally beat Chandni Naik. And now she has had a miscarriage. This is nothing short of murder,” Umashree alleged.

Brijesh Kalappa, Supreme Court advocate and member of the Congress party, demanded that Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa take strict action against Siddu Savadi. “We were aghast when videos of BJP MLA Siddu Savadhi manhandling pregnant councillor Chandini Naik were screened by TV Channels. The councillor has now suffered a miscarriage because of the brutality. Will BJP act at least now against the MLA?!” Bijesh Kalappa said in a tweet. 

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