Karnataka’s Director General and Inspector General of Police (DG&IGP) on Tuesday, January 10, suspended Cottonpet police inspector Praveen for allegedly colluding with the sex trafficker KS Manjunath alias ‘Santro’ Ravi to foist a theft case against two women after they refused to cooperate with Ravi in his illegal activities. A lookout circular has been issued against ‘Santro’ Ravi to prevent his escape from the country.
The case was initiated after the survivor, a Dalit woman alleged that Ravi raped her and threatened her to marry him. She alleged that when she responded to a job advertisement he had placed in a local newspaper, he drugged her with sedatives and then blackmailed her into marrying him. He was subsequently booked under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
In her complaint, the woman had also alleged that inspector Praveen had foisted a false case against her, her younger sister, and another person. Based on the complaint, the Director General and Inspector General of Police (DG&IGP) ordered an inquiry. Later, the police found that inspector Praveen had registered a false case, and as a result, his suspension orders were issued on Tuesday. According to The New Indian Express, Praveen, who had allegedly contacted Ravi earlier seeking help for his transfers, had created a fake case and circumstantial evidence against the sisters.
The false case, which was registered on November 22, alleged that a man named Prakash had given Rs 5 lakh to the woman after receiving post-dated cheques. Prakash alleged that the woman, her sister, and another person assaulted him and snatched his gold chain and cash when he went to meet them at the Railway Bridge near Khoday's Circle on November 22 evening. Praveen arrested the sisters on November 25 and they were in judicial custody for about 20 days before a court granted them bail.
'Santro' Ravi caused a stir in the public eye after pictures and audio recordings of him with various ministers of the BJP government surfaced. Ravi was heard bragging in the audio clips about his connections to party leaders and the police. Photos emerged of him alongside Primary Education Minister BC Nagesh, Home Minister Araga Jnanendra, and Health Minister K Sudhakar. However, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai denied the ministers’ links with Ravi. He stated that the pictures and audio clips could have been doctored and that it is impossible to track the backgrounds of all the people who visit the ministers every day.
‘Santro’ Ravi gained the moniker 'Santro' as he was accused of using a Hyundai Santro car to kidnap women who were then forced into the flesh trade. He has a long history of criminal cases against him in Karnataka, including dowry harassment and human trafficking, dating back to 2003.