Suraj Revanna targeted young male JD(S) workers: Survivor alleges to TNM

Sanjay (name changed), who has been with the JD(S) since 2016, told TNM that Suraj sexually assaulted him in 2020. “I never shared it with my family. How could I? How would I explain what happened?” he said.
Suraj Revanna
Suraj Revanna
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Janata Dal (Secular) MLC Suraj Revanna, who has been accused of sexual assault by two male party workers, allegedly targeted JD(S) workers in their 20s, one of his accusers told TNM. 

JD(S) party workers Anil and Sanjay (names changed) have accused Suraj of sexually assaulting them and the police have filed FIRs based on their complaints. 

Sanjay, who has been with the JD(S) since 2016, spoke to TNM and said that Suraj sexually assaulted him in 2020. “I never shared it with my family. How could I? It is easier for women to come forward (compared to men). How would I explain what happened?” he said.

Over the years, Sanjay alleges, Suraj assaulted other men, all party workers aged between 23 and 27. “Four of them shared their stories with me. I dissuaded them from talking about it. I coped with the trauma without sharing it with anyone, and I told them not to talk about it.”

Allegations against Suraj first came to light on June 21, when Anil made it public on Power TV. Anil, who hails from Hassan district, alleged that Suraj had sexually assaulted him at the Revanna family’s Gannikada farmhouse in Holenarasipura on June 16. This was after Suraj’s brother Prajwal, then Hassan MP, was arrested over allegations of rape.

Suraj Revanna (left) and Prajwal Revanna (right)
Suraj Revanna (left) and Prajwal Revanna (right)

But then things got murky. Sanjay, who is now a complainant himself, filed a complaint with the Holenarasipura Town Police accusing Anil of blackmailing Suraj. Sanjay alleged that Anil threatened to defame Suraj by making allegations of sexual abuse and tried to extort money.

The next day, June 22, Anil lodged a complaint with the Holenarasipura Rural Police accusing Suraj of sexual assault, and alleged that Suraj and Sanjay had both threatened to kill him if he reported the incident to the police.

Sanjay went missing for a few days and resurfaced on June 25 only to file a complaint alleging that Suraj sexually assaulted him at the Gannikada farmhouse during the first COVID-19 lockdown.

Sanjay also confessed in his complaint to the police that he informed Suraj about Anil’s intention to file a complaint. Asked why he did that, Sanjay claimed that he was angry at what Suraj had done to Anil but was also scared. “I was scared that Anil would try to die by suicide,” he claimed.

Anil allegedly sent a WhatsApp message to Suraj stating, “If something happens to me, please support my family. You ruined my life.” Anil then sent a screenshot of the message to Sanjay, and also revealed that he may go to the police.

“Suraj told me to convince Anil not to go to the police. I was furious. Even at this time, when his (Suraj’s) entire family is accused of rape and kidnap, he continued to exploit other men. But I had no choice,” Sanjay said.

Suraj allegedly asked Sanjay to offer money to Anil to “keep his mouth shut.” “When Anil didn’t agree, I was restrained by Suraj and made to file a complaint against Anil accusing him of trying to extort money from Suraj,” Sanjay claimed.

When asked what made him change his mind about filing a complaint, Sanjay said, “Suraj Revanna and his family are very powerful. I agree that I tried to convince Anil not to go to the police when he came to me after Suraj assaulted him. Anil and I were colleagues and party workers. When Anil went to the police, I thought I could do so too.”

Suraj’s brother Prajwal is in jail after four women accused him of rape. Their father, Holenarasipura MLA HD Revanna, is out on bail in a case related to the kidnapping of a woman who was allegedly raped by Prajwal. Their mother, Bhavani, obtained anticipatory bail from the Karnataka High Court in the kidnapping case.

Suraj is in police custody and both the cases against him have been transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department.

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