FIR against BJP’s Devaraje Gowda for sexual assault, hurling casteist slurs

One of the complaints alleged that Devaraje Gowda boasted that he was somebody who went against the family of a former Prime Minister, referring to HD Deve Gowda.
Devaraje Gowda
Devaraje GowdaPublic TV
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A Holenarasipura woman has filed a complaint of sexual assault and blackmail against Devaraje Gowda, the BJP leader who had warned the party’s state leadership about Prajwal Revanna’s alleged sexual abuse videos. Devaraje has also been accused of hurling casteist abuse against the woman’s husband in a separate complaint. 

The woman filed a complaint about the alleged sexual assault on April 1 but the FIR does not state when the alleged assaults were committed but only mentions that they were committed over several months. Her husband filed a complaint at Holenarasipura Town Police station the previous day, March 31. 

In her complaint, the woman alleged that she came in contact with Devaraje Gowda when she and her husband were trying to sell a parcel of land around 10 months ago. According to the victim, the accused promised to help them build a house on another plot of land and told her that he would help her get a khata for the plot if she agreed to his terms. The complaint states that Devaraje took her to Hassan district and sexually assaulted her. He later went to her house and sexually assaulted her again.

Further, the complainant alleged that in February, Devaraje recorded her on a video call and blackmailed her saying that he would kill her husband if she did not cooperate. When she refused to cooperate, Devaraje on February 4 said that he would circulate the recorded material online.

The complainant said she got a call from the second accused, identified as BJP office worker Veena, asking for the location of her house and bank account number. Following this, two unidentified men entered her house and threatened her not to interfere in issues related to Devaraje anymore before trying to sexually assault her. When the complainant received a call from Devaraje urging her not to inform anyone about these incidents, she recorded the call and told him that she would give it to the police.

Meanwhile, as per the complaint filed by the woman’s husband, before the two unidentified men threatened his wife, Devaraje had abused him with casteist slurs. According to this complaint, Devaraje threatened that if the family went to the police, he would kill them. It further alleged that Devaraje boasted that he was somebody who went against the family of a former Prime Minister (HD Deve Gowda). Devaraje had allegedly sent a letter to the top brass of the Karnataka BJP raising allegations of sexual harassment against Prajwal, which the state president BY Vijayendra had denied receiving to TNM.

Devaraje has been booked under Sections 354 (A) (sexual assault), 354(C) (voyeurism), 448 (house trespassing), 504 (provocation), and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 66E (violation of privacy) of the Information and Technology Act, 2000. For the complaint about using casteist slurs, he has been booked under Section 3(2) (va) of the SC/ST (PoA) Act.

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