In yet other twist to the sex scandal allegedly involving former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, an unauthenticated letter said to have been written by the woman in the purported video to the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court requesting to personally supervise the investigation, has surfaced. In a three-page letter dated March 28, the woman has requested the court to take note of the threat she is facing in this matter and to take up the case and direct the state government to provide her protection and render her justice.
However, her family has continued to blame Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar for the scandal and said the woman was under a lot of pressure. They also requested the courts not to record her statement as she is ‘under duress’, she be given at least four days time to be with them, or kept in a place under court supervision and provided counselling.
The woman has alleged that the SIT, which is probing the case, is completely acting to the tunes of Jarkiholi and that the government is also protecting him, and hence, she has not gained confidence in the investigation agency. Claiming to be a rape victim, having filed a complaint against Jarkiholi at the Cubbon Park Police Station, where an FIR has been registered, the woman said, “Jarkiholi is a highly influential person and has already threatened me in public, of going to any extent to clear my charges against him. I have already expressed my apprehension that there is a threat to myself and my parents from Ramesh Jarkiholi, who is a highly influential person…I have requested the Special Investigation Team seeking protection for myself and my parents,” she said.
Alleging that despite her apprehension, the SIT has not given any protection to her and her parents so far, the woman said, she has learnt that Jarkiholi has already used his influence through SIT and caused serious threat to her parents and has forced them using criminal force to prevent her from appearing before the Hon’ble Magistrate in pursuing the complaint and preventing her from making any statement against him. Jarkiholi has criminal antecedents, and has already started destroying evidence regarding offences in every possible way, she added.
The woman has so far released a series of video statements from undisclosed locations accusing Jarkiholi of cheating her, fearing threat to her life, and seeking protection for her and family members. “Ramesh Jarkiholi is openly threatening me and can go to any extent to prevent me from approaching the investigating agency,” she said, while expressing fear that he may kill her at any place at any point of time and destroy every piece of evidence regarding commission of offences by him.
Further stating that she was on her own will and wished to fight for justice against the influential person, the woman said, “it is me who is the sufferer, I have to fight for my dignity and womanhood. Statements made through my parents that, I am kidnapped is baseless and my family has been pressurised to make such statement.”
“This is my fight not anybody’s, she said, alleging that her family is captive of Jarkiholi and one Kattimani DYSP is pressuring them.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah terming the woman’s letter to the High Court Chief Justice about threat to her life, as “distressing and terrifying”, asked Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, “Is your govt working in Karnataka?” “CD victim claimed to have attempted suicide and now she claims that there is a threat to her life. Chief Minister Yediyurappa, Home minister Basavaraj Bommai and the whole govt will be responsible if something happens to the victim,” he tweeted. The victim in her letter has expressed distrust about the SIT probe and feels that the investigating agency is destroying evidence by colluding with her opponents, this allegation is very serious and needs immediate attention, he added.
Shivakumar said he doesn’t know anything about the charges levelled against him and he has nothing to do with it. “….Let the investigation happen, they (family) were speaking under pressure… if they have proof, let them give it.” The family’s statement came amid reports that she would appear before a judge to record her statement as her lawyer on Monday moved an application of requisition before a magistrate court and said they are awaiting directions on producing her before it.
“We got to know through the media that our daughter will appear before the court. Through you (media),we urge the Chief Minister, all the Judges in Karnataka and the Home Minister…..you have to consider that our daughter is under pressure for the last 20-25 days and has been forced to make statements,” the woman’s father said.
Speaking to reporters in Belagavi, he said if she appears before the court, she would be relieved from that pressure and her statement should then be recorded. “This is our request…she should be given time.” The woman’s brother alleged that his sister was acting according to Shivakumar’s diktats, was given some money by him and had not been in touch with the family for 20 to 25 days.
He said the family’s request to the court was to send her to them for at least four days to free her from the ‘torture’ and ‘pressure’ she was undergoing. If this could not be done, the court should make arrangements for her peaceful stay under its supervision.
“She should be counselled first,” he said. Her other brother too alleged that she has been pressurised to issue statements all these days. The video statements that have come out so far and ‘those that will come in future,” all of them are under the pressure of those who made the CD and Shivakumar, he alleged.
The family said they were not under captivity, pressure or facing threats from anyone, as alleged by the woman, and added that they have been provided security. “I want to tell my daughter that as an ex-soldier I’m ready to give her protection and she should come to us,” the father said.
He said the family, for the sake of his job, had been living in Belagavi district for 12 years and they had nothing to do with Jarkiholi or anyone in politics. “I have strength to take care of my daughter. Who are these people, these politicians? Have they brought her up or given her education?” The woman’s inconsolable mother, with folded hands, said they wanted nothing else other than their daughter back.
She said when she questioned her daughter about getting involved with politicians, she had replied that she was promised a job and nothing would happen to her. “She told me four months ago that some one related to Shivakumar will get her the job.” After the video clips started appearing on TV channels on March 2, she told her mother over phone they were morphed and edited.
Since then, she had not been able to speak to her as her phone was taken away, the mother alleged. The family said they had full faith in the police and judiciary and that the woman had become “a pawn for political games.
” “We want her (woman) to come out of the current mindset. If she wants to come to us, we are ready to take her, she is our daughter,” they said. On whether they will file a complaint against Shivakumar, the parents said they first want their daughter back, after which they would consult lawyers. “We have 11 pieces of evidence,” they said.
The family on Saturday for the first time blamed Shivakumar, accusing him of playing “dirty politics” by using their daughter.
Jarkiholi, who was Water Resources Minister in the Yediyurappa cabinet, resigned on March 3, a day after news channels aired videos of the alleged sex scandal, While Jarkiholi has repeatedly claimed his innocence and that the video was “fake”, the woman had accused him of sexually “using” her, cheating and threatening her after promising a government job.