A social activist whose complaint of sexual harassment against a Karnataka minister led to his resignation on Friday appeared before the police here, a day after seeking a week’s time citing security concerns.
Dinesh Kallahalli appeared before the police and later said he handed over whatever ”evidence” he possessed. Kallahalli had earlier this week lodged a police complaint alleging that then Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi sexually harassed a woman ”job aspirant”, following which the BJP leader resigned from the cabinet.
Meanwhile, JDS leader and former chief minister H D Kumarawamy said it was a “blackmail” deal and Rs five crore had changed hands, but declined to elaborate further and said it was for the government to get to the bottom of the case and bring out the truth.
Supporters of Jarkiholi staged protests in his assembly constituency demanding that he be reinstated as minister. Dubbing it as ”sex for job” scandal, video clips purportedly showing Jarkiholi getting intimate with an unidentified woman were widely aired by Kannada news channels, but he has rejected the charges and sought a thorough investigation.
Kallahalli was summoned by Police to appear before the investigating officer on Thursday, but he did not turn up saying he needed adequate security as he “faced threat” after he lodged the complaint. The activist had said he informed the police that he would appear on March 9 “only after proper security is given”, but presented himself on Friday itself.
Kumaraswamy demanded the arrest of those who claim to have videos of the intimate moments of political bigwigs in the state, saying these blackmailers were a threat to the society. “It’s 200 per cent blackmail,” the JD(S) leader told reporters in Mysuru.
He claimed several high profile people were involved in the matter and said a shameful atmosphere has been created in the state due to ”blackmailers”.
Meanwhile, Jarkiholi’s supporters staged a protest in his Gokak assembly constituency in Belagavi district demanding their leader’s reinstatement as minister. All shops and business establishments remained shut and vehicles did not ply due to the agitation. The protesters raised slogans, burnt tyres on roads and put up posters and banners demanding Jarkiholi”s reinstatement.
One of the supporters of Jarkiholi sustained burns when he allegedly attempted self-immolation by jumping into a bunch of burning tyres, but was dragged and rushed to hospital, police said. PTI