Centre silent on Prajwal’s diplomatic passport cancellation: Parameshwara


PTI, May 23, 2024, 8:33 AM IST

Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara on Wednesday said the Centre has not responded to the request for cancellation of Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna’s diplomatic passport on the basis of an arrest warrant issued against the JD(S) leader facing charges of sexually abusing women.

He also ruled out lapses on the part of the state government in handling the cases relating to the sexual abuse. He insisted that the Special Investigation Team was probing the cases from all angles.

A Special Court for Elected Representatives issued an arrest warrant on Saturday against Prajwal, following an application moved by the SIT. Speaking with PTI Videos, Minister Parameshwara said that after the court issued the warrant, the state government wrote to the Centre urging it to cancel Prajwal’s diplomatic passport.

”Still nothing has come (from the Centre). The Centre also should help us, that’s what we are urging. There is no meaning in only criticising. The Centre should help us within the framework of the law,” Parameshwara told reporters here. ”The Centre should have cancelled the diplomatic passport.” Parameshwara said the chief minister had written a letter to the prime minister on the issue, and added that cancelling Prajwal’s passport after a warrant is issued against him is the Centre’s duty. The 33-year-old Prajwal, who is the grandson of JD(S) patriarch and former PM H D Deve Gowda and is the NDA’s candidate from Hassan Lok Sabha seat, is facing charges of multiple instances of sexually abusing women.

Prajwal reportedly left for Germany on April 27, a day after Hassan went to polls, and is at large. A Blue Corner Notice seeking information on his whereabouts was issued by the Interpol, following a SIT request via the CBI.

”It’s a very sensitive case, and you cannot force people to come and lodge a complaint against Prajwal. We are getting plenty of reports, people fleeing from their homes in Hassan, a lot of women going through hardships and toil in their homes. Many of these women, who have supposedly appeared in these videos, occupy some position in society. They are all under the scanner from their own families. It is a horrible development,” Minister Parameshwara said.

Meanwhile, JD(S) second-in-command H D Kumaraswamy has alleged that their phones are being tapped, and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah dismissed the allegations saying he has never indulged in such a ”dirty job” in his political life so far, and will not do so in the future as well.

”In my political life, whether as chief minister now or earlier, I have never done the dirty job of phone tapping. I have not done so far and will not do it in the future too,” Siddaramaiah said. ”Kumaraswamy is making such false statements to divert public attention from the Prajwal Revanna case.” In a related development, the JD(S) on Wednesday complained to Karnataka DGP Alok Mohan against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for allegedly claiming that Prajwal has ”raped 400 women”.

Former MLC and the party’s Bengaluru City president H M Ramesh Gowda urged the police, in a complaint, to register a a criminal case against Gandhi under section 202 (Intentional omission to give information of an offence by a person legally bound to inform) of the Indian Penal Code for his alleged statement while addressing election rallies in the district headquarters of Shivamogga and Raichur on May 2.

The JD(S) leader cited the alleged statement by Gandhi where he said, ”Prajwal Revanna has raped 400 women and made videos. This is not a sex scandal but mass rape. And the Prime Minister, in front of the people of Karnataka, was supporting and seeking vote for this mass rapist. He is saying that if you vote for this mass rapist, it would help him.” The complainant said that in the interest of justice for the alleged victims, Gandhi being a public servant is duty-bound to give information of offence.

In the meantime, Kumaraswamy once again made a public appeal to his nephew Prajwal to return from abroad and face the investigation.

The former CM also told the media that there are no differences between his party and its alliance partner, the BJP, over the allegations against Prajwal.”This case has nothing to do with the alliance,” Kumaraswamy said in Mysuru.

Prajwal’s father and Holenarasipura MLA H D Revanna, who himself is accused in cases of molestation and kidnapping, on Wednesday told the people of Hassan that they need not be afraid as he and his father H D Deve Gowda were there to ”protect them” in the wake of developments that have rocked the district.

Presently, MLA Revanna is on bail in two cases pertaining to the abduction of a woman and her illegal detention and sexual harassment.

The woman who was kidnapped had figured in one of the leaked videos where she was tied and raped allegedly by Revanna’s son Prajwal, the victim’s son had said in a police complaint.

“There is no need to be afraid. Only time will answer. Till then we have to remain calm. I am there. A Manju, Swaroop P, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda are there…” Revanna said at a press conference in Hassan.

The Holenarasipura MLA said his father Deve Gowda has protected Hassan district for 60 years and will continue to do it now as well.

“There is no need to be afraid. We have the strength,” the MLA, who is the accused inelated cases, said.

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