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Written by: Sagar Rana (Intern)

Edited by: Anubhav Yadav (Content Head & Developer)

Since March 2nd 2021, the state politics in Karnataka has been subjugated by a Sex CD Scandal linking a former minister in the BJP government in the state. Despite the minister resigning on March 3rd 2021, following accusations of sexual harassment in his relationship with a 25-year-old woman and his own claims that video recordings displayed in the media are fake, the controversy has refused to perish and new twists and turns appear every day.

On March 2nd 2021, local Kannada television channels disclosed sexually explicit video along with audio clips of a relationship between a young, unidentified woman and the then BJP water resources minister Ramesh Jarkiholi (60). As the videos went viral on social media and news channels, a social activist approached the Bengaluru police with a claim asserting sexual harassment in the relationship between the minister and the 25-year-old woman. Dinesh Kalahalli, the activist, initially confirmed that he had been informed by members of the woman’s family that she had been promised a job by the minister to pressureher into a relationship and that the minister later denied on his promises.

Mr. Jarkiholi, who was one of the senior leaders in the Karnataka BJP, resigned from the B.S Yediyurappa cabinet on March 3rd 2021 following the stress from the party leadership. The resignation came even though minister claimed the video recordings were fakes.

The former Water Resources minister was involved in a controversy after a CD apparentlyshowing him in a compromising position with a woman emerged on 23rd March 2021. The CD was released to the media by social activist, Dinesh Kalahalli, who believed that the woman in the video clips was lured by the minister with a government job offer at Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited. The activist stated that the family of the woman had approached him seeking justice.

On March 26 2021, the Bengaluru police, acting on a complaint sent to them by the woman through her advocates, had lodged a FIR under IPC Section 354a – Sexual harassment,Section 376c – Sexual intercourse by a person in authority, Section 417 – Cheating, Section504 – Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace, Section 506 – Criminal Intimidation, and IT Act Section 67a – Publishing or transmitting of material containing the sexually explicit act, against Jarkiholi.

In her complaint to the Cubbon Park police, the woman accused that Mr. Jarkiholi pressuredher into a sexual relationship by offering her a government job, and that he later reneged on the promise. She alleged that Mr. Jarkiholi lured her into direct sexual conversations on video calls and later enticed her to meet him at his apartment in Bengaluru where he forced her into sexual intercourse.

Consequent to the court appearance on 30th March 2021, the woman was taken by her lawyers to the police technical cell for a voice sample and statements in further cases that have been filed over the video CD telecast by television channels.

Special Investigation Team of the state police is also looking at Mr. Jarkiholi’s complaint of extortion and blackmail in the CD matter, and a complaint by the woman’s family appealing that she had been abducted. Mr. Jarkiholi has stated that the video recordings are the result of a failed attempt to extort and blackmail him using an altered video CD. He claims that a β€œMahan Nayak” in Karnataka who is a political rival is behind the whole incident, and that this is a major case of conspiracy.

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