Karnataka BJP’s Devaraje Gowda arrested for alleged sexual assault and blackmail

Devaraje Gowda’s arrest comes a day after a First Information Report (FIR) was filed based on a woman’s complaint in Holenarasipura against him alleging sexual assault and blackmail.
Devaraje Gowda
Devaraje Gowda
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Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devaraje Gowda was arrested by the police on Friday, May 10, at Hiriyur in Chitradurga district. This comes a day after a First Information Report (FIR) was filed based on a woman’s complaint in Holenarasipura against him alleging sexual assault and blackmail. In a different complaint, Devaraje was also accused of using casteist slurs against the complainant’s husband. 

The woman had filed a complaint against Devaraje on April 1, but the First Information Report (FIR) accessed by TNM does not mention when the alleged assaults were committed, only that they happened over several months. 

Devaraje was the BJP leader who had sent a letter to the top brass of the Karnataka BJP about allegations of sexual harassment against Janata Dal(Secular) MP Prajwal. But the state president BY Vijayendra had denied receiving the letter while responding to TNM. Devaraje was also the BJP candidate in Holenarasipura during the Karnataka Assembly elections in 2023 but was defeated. 

In her complaint, the woman mentioned that she came in contact with Devaraje Gowda when she and her husband were trying to sell a parcel of their land around 10 months back. According to her, Deveraje promised to help them build a house on another plot of land and told her that he would help her get a khata (document certifying ownership) 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.

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. The complaint further states that Devaraje boasted that he was somebody who went against the family of a former Prime Minister (HD Deve Gowda). 

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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