Member of Parliament Arrested in Sex-Abuse Case Upon Return to Country

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Member of Parliament arrested in high-profile sex-abuse case upon return to the country. Get the latest updates on this shocking scandal and legal proceedings.

Prajwal Revanna, an Indian lawmaker who had been evading arrest since April 27, has been apprehended by the police upon his return to India. Revanna, who had fled to Germany, was arrested early on Friday in Bengaluru, formerly known as Bangalore. He faces multiple allegations of sexually abusing several women but has denied all charges.

Revanna, 33, is a member of the Janata Dal (Secular) party, which aligns with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party. He is also part of a prominent political family and is seeking re-election from the Hassan constituency in Karnataka. His political career, however, was overshadowed by controversy when thousands of USB sticks containing videos allegedly showing him abusing women were distributed across Karnataka, causing widespread outrage. While Revanna has not publicly addressed these videos, a representative from his office claimed they were manipulated.

The Karnataka police have registered three cases of sexual assault against Revanna so far. A special investigation team (SIT), established by Karnataka Chief Minister K Siddaramaiah, is currently handling the investigation. On May 18, a special court issued an arrest warrant for Revanna at the request of the SIT. Despite his efforts to obtain anticipatory bail, his plea was denied by the court on Thursday.

Revanna had been missing for several weeks before releasing a video on May 27, in which he promised to cooperate with the SIT. This video surfaced soon after his grandfather, former Indian Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, publicly urged him to return to India and face the investigation. Revanna’s father, HD Revanna, and uncle, HD Kumaraswamy, are also influential politicians in Karnataka. HD Revanna, who has also faced allegations of sexual harassment and criminal intimidation by a former employee, was recently detained for six days but subsequently released on bail. He too has dismissed these allegations as part of a political conspiracy.

The allegations against Prajwal Revanna have sparked significant political and public reactions. His case is particularly sensitive given his family’s prominent political status. The scandal emerged just before crucial voting in the Hassan constituency, further complicating the political landscape. The circulation of the alleged abuse videos significantly influenced public opinion, leading to widespread demands for justice and accountability.

Revanna’s legal troubles began shortly after the voting concluded in Hassan. Despite the severity of the charges and the public outcry, he managed to leave the country and avoid immediate arrest. The Karnataka police, under Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s directive, formed a special team to trace and apprehend him. The issuance of the arrest warrant and subsequent denial of anticipatory bail were crucial developments in the legal proceedings against him.

His eventual decision to return to India and the subsequent arrest indicate a turning point in the ongoing investigation. The video he released, promising to cooperate, came amid growing pressure from both the public and his political allies. His grandfather’s public appeal played a significant role in his decision to return, reflecting the complex interplay of family dynamics and political strategy in Indian politics.

Revanna’s case is not an isolated incident within his family. His father, HD Revanna, faces similar accusations, further complicating the family’s political standing. These allegations have sparked debates about political accountability and the misuse of power. The ongoing investigations into both Prajwal and HD Revanna will likely have far-reaching implications for their political careers and the broader political climate in Karnataka.

As the SIT continues its investigation, the case against Prajwal Revanna remains a focal point of public and media attention. The outcomes of these legal proceedings will not only determine his political future but also set a precedent for how such cases are handled in India’s political sphere. The involvement of high-profile political figures in such scandals underscores the need for stringent measures to ensure justice and uphold public trust in the political system.

Source: Cherylann Mollan, BBC News, Mumbai

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