Prajwal Revanna case: Activists seek stern action against those circulating abuse videos

Civil rights group Naaveddu Nilladiddare wrote to the Karnataka Women’s Commission, while 107 individuals signed an open letter to the CM, urging them to step in and safeguard the dignity and safety of the survivors.
HD Revanna and Prajwal Revanna
HD Revanna and Prajwal RevannaFacebook
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Civil society groups have called for swift action to take down the explicit videos and images featuring the alleged sexual abuse by suspended JD(S) MP Prajwal Revanna, to protect the privacy of the survivors. They also raised concerns about vested interests exploiting the case for political gain, and have urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to intervene. Naaveddu Nilladiddare, a civil rights organisation, wrote to the Karnataka State Women’s Commission chairperson Nagalakshmi Choudhary, while 107 individuals signed an open letter to the CM, urging them to step in and safeguard the dignity and safety of the survivors. 

The letter by Naaveddu Nilladiddare urged the Commission to intervene with the relevant authorities to ensure that the circulation and distribution of the videos and images online and offline are prohibited. They also called for stern legal action against people who circulate them. “The Karnataka State Women’s Commission should intervene to ensure that the videos and images of the women allegedly recorded by Prajwal Revanna are taken down to protect the safety and dignity of the survivors,” they urged.

The organisation, in their letter, pointed out that the faces of the women can be clearly seen in many videos and photos. The group demanded that the police must book offenders under Sections 354C (voyeurism), 228A (disclosure of the identity of victim), and 292 (sale of obscene material etc) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and Section 67A of Information Technology Act (distribution of obscene material). In a press release last week, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) had warned of stern action against people who share these videos and images. 

The group sought protection for the survivors and potential complainants and witnesses under the Witness Protection Scheme 2018, as well as the provision of legal and financial aid to the survivors under the NALSA compensation scheme. They also demanded that the government set up an independent committee headed by a retired high court judge and comprising representatives of women’s groups, to ensure that the SIT is impartial and conducts a thorough investigation.

The open letter addressed to Siddaramaiah, signed by 107 persons, highlighted the extensive political lineage of Prajwal Revanna’s family. The signatories said the tragedy was being used by politicians and political parties for electoral gains, making the crime and its consequences secondary. 

They pointed out in the letter that Prajwal Revanna's immediate family members, including his brother, parents, uncle, aunt, and cousin, have held elected positions at various government levels and have served as ministers in the state cabinet. “This incident connected with this family is taking us to the feudal, misogynist, patriarchal society of the 19th century. Media reports have exposed the feudal administration that HD Revanna, Prajwal Revanna, and their family have been practising in the garb of democracy and by donning the role of elected representatives,” they added.

The signatories demanded that the government create an enabling environment for survivors to file complaints without any fear. They also suggested that a video be released reassuring survivors of strict government action against anyone obstructing complaints, withdrawing complaints, exerting pressure, defaming or slandering victims, or harassing their children and families.

They also sought the arrest of Karthik, Prajwal’s car driver who said that he had these videos for months, along with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devaraje Gowda. Karthik had stated on camera that he had given the videos to Devaraje Gowda. Anyone else who may have been involved with Prajwal in filming the abuse should be traced and prosecuted, they added.

A total of 107 persons have signed the letter, including actor Prakash Raj, political observer Muzaffar Assadi, activists K Neela and Rupa Hassan, CITU Hassan district president Dharmesh, Mavalli Shankar from DSS, All India Central Council of Trade Unions State President Clifton D’ Rozario, Maitreyi from the All India Lawyers’ Association for Justice, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha member GC Bayareddy, members of the Janavadi Mahila Sanghate, among others.

Our coverage of this case can be accessed here.

HD Revanna and Prajwal Revanna
Silenced by fear: Survivors reveal years of abuse in the Revanna household

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