The complainant in the alleged sexual assault case registered against Ramesh Jarkiholi, recorded her statement in a Bengaluru court on Tuesday, four days after a first information report (FIR) was registered against the former Karnataka Minister. The statement was recorded under Section 164(5A) (a) of CrPC.
"She will be cooperating with the inquiry by the SIT. We are only concerned about the safety measures since this is a sensitive case," the victim's advocate Jagadeesh Kumar told reporters on Tuesday. An FIR was registered against Ramesh Jarkiholi accusing him of sexual harassment, criminal intimidation and cheating on March 26.
This came more than three weeks after a video of Ramesh Jarkiholi with the woman was leaked to news channels in the state leading to Ramesh Jarkiholi's resignation as Water Resources Minister on March 3.
The woman seen in the video had written to the Karnataka High Court on Monday saying she does not trust the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that is probing the leak of the video and has asked the Chief Justice to supervise the probe.
Ramesh Jarkiholi was forced to resign as a minister after a CD allegedly containing visuals of sexual acts with the woman surfaced in news channels and social media in the state. Following his resignation, six other ministers secured an interim injunction from a city civil court against media houses telecasting similar reports against them.
Ramesh Jarkiholi, meanwhile has accused Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President DK Shivakumar of having a role in the controversy and blamed him for the leaked tapes and his resignation.
DK Shivakumar on Tuesday alleged that the BJP government in the state was supporting and standing behind Ramesh Jarkiholi.
The scandal is also an issue in the run up to the bye-elections in Belagavi, Ramesh Jarkiholi's home turf. The BJP has fielded Mangala Angadi, wife of the former Union Minister Minister Suresh Angadi who passed away in September 2020. Interestingly, the Congress has fielded Satish Jarkiholi, brother of Ramesh Jarkiholi in the bye-election.