Woman on tape with Karnataka BJP leader releases desperate plea, says family hounded

So far, six people, including a hacker, have been detained in the case, according to the police.
Woman on tape with Karnataka BJP leader releases desperate plea, says family hounded
Woman on tape with Karnataka BJP leader releases desperate plea, says family hounded
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The Bengaluru police on Saturday registered a case of conspiracy and blackmailing against unknown persons based on a complaint by BJP MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi, who resigned as a minister following allegations of sexual harassment against him. Just an hour after the BJP leader’s complaint, a video clip of the woman, who claims to have been featured in the CD, surfaced on social media in which she could be seen urging the Karnataka government to provide protection to her.

This is the first time that the woman has come out in the open after the tape controversy came to light on March 2. In the 34-second video clip in Kannada, the woman says that this message is for Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai. 

"I do not know how and what they did with the video. Since the release of this video, my modesty has been outraged while my family's reputation is gone forever. Several people are coming and questioning me and my parents about this. We are looked down upon," she said. She further alleged that the CD went public from their side (Jarakiholi) and not from her side. "Ever since the video came in the public domain, I tried to take my own life at least three or four times while my parents tried to end their lives about two times," she added.

"Nobody is there to protect our family. We don't have any political support. It was Ramesh Jarakiholi who lured me with a job offer, and now this video has come out from their side. I do not know how this (video) was recorded," she said.

She added: "I don't have protection. All that I ask you (Bommai) is to give me protection." She stressed that she was not aware of how the video was recorded. The source and origin of the video are yet to be verified.

Following the video message of the woman, Jarkiholi rushed to Bommai's residence and reacted that the woman's allegations against him were proof that he was being framed by his political rivals.

"I am innocent, I know that for sure. This is a fake CD. I will face it. Let her come out in the open and complain," he said, adding that “only a fool” can release such a video at the cost of reputation.

"Within an hour after I lodged my complaint, she surfaced in another video. This itself is a clear case of a political conspiracy. This is just a part of a big conspiracy against me," he said.

Responding to the woman's claims, Bommai said that he had not yet seen the video. "I have learnt about this video only through you (media). I am told that the victim's family is facing death threats. I have directed the SIT chief to provide them with adequate security. The SIT will investigate the matter from every possible angle," he said.

The woman’s video message has come to light on a day the police registered a case of extortion and conspiracy against unknown people following a complaint lodged by Jarkiholi. 

The former minister sent his confidant MV Nagaraj to the Sadashivanagar police station in the afternoon to hand over the copy of his complaint. The police registered a case of criminal conspiracy, extortion and forgery under various sections of the IPC, sources said.

In the complaint, Jarkiholi has named no one but has charged that some people with an intention to extort money resorted to defaming him. He stated that a conspiracy was going on against him for the past three months by 'creating' a fake CD (video) to finish him off politically and blackmail him.

"There are many people involved in it, amongst them, a few hatched the conspiracy, became part of preparing the fake CD and released it on the internet to create political instability," Jarkiholi said in his statement.

Speaking to reporters, Jarkiholi said he has decided to fight the case legally. To a question on not naming anyone, he said he lodged the complaint on the instructions of legal experts. Claiming that a criminal conspiracy was behind it, the former minister said he will make sure that everyone involved is brought out. He reiterated that the plot was hatched around Yeshwantpur and there were three prominent teams.

Earlier, in the day, the special investigation team, formed to probe the alleged sex scandal, detained a person from Vijayapura near Devanahalli in Bengaluru who was allegedly part of the conspiracy. So far, six people have been detained including a hacker, police sources said.

After the CD became public on March 2, the Karnataka government formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Additional Police Commissioner (West), Soumendu Mukherjee. The SIT was formed after a CD was released to news channels in which Jarakiholi was allegedly seen in a compromising position with a woman, which went viral, costing him his ministerial berth.

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