Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, on Monday, questioned the BJP-led government in the state after news emerged that the woman seen in the sex-for-jobs tape with BJP leader Ramesh Jarkiholi, wrote to the Karnataka High Court Chief Justice. The woman has alleged in her letter that she does not trust the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that is probing the leak of the video and has asked the Chief Justice to supervise the probe.
“The news of CD victim, writing a letter to High Court Chief Justice about threat to her life, is distressing & terrifying. Mr. @BSYBJP, Is your govt working in Karnataka?” Siddaramaiah tweeted. “CD victim claimed to have attempted suicide & now she claims that there is threat to her life. @CMofKarnataka @BSYBJP, Home Minister @BSBommai & the whole govt will be responsible if something happens to the victim," he added.
“In a letter to High Court Chief Justice, the victim has expressed distrust about SIT probe and she feels SIT is destroying evidence by colluding with her opponents. This allegation is very serious & needs immediate attention," Siddaramaiah said in another tweet.
The woman has alleged in her letter, dated March 28, that Jarkiholi has “held her father captive” and that the former minister "has already started destroying evidence regarding offences in every possible way." She further added that Jarkiholi "is openly threatening" her and that he can "go to any extent to prevent me from approaching the investigating agency and also in preventing me in making any statement about the commission of offences against him."
In the letter, she also said that the SIT formed to probe the leak of the video is "completely acting to the tunes of Ramesh Jarkiholi and the Government of Karnataka is also protecting him." She has also added that despite seeking police protection for her and her family, and the government promising the same, no police have been deputed for her security.
Ramesh Jarkiholi, on Friday last week, was booked in connection with the sex-for-jobs case. The Cubbon Park police have booked the former minister under sections 354A (Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment), 417 (Punishment for cheating), 506 (criminal intimidation), 504 (intentional insult), 376 C (Sexual intercourse by person in authority) of the Indian Penal Code, and Section 67A (Punishment for publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit acts) of the Information Technology Act.
A day later, Jarkiholi addressed the media and alleged that Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar of ‘framing’ him in the controversy and that an audio conversation that surfaced on Saturday showed that the woman and her family had discussed meeting the Congress leader. The woman's family had also blamed DK Shivakumar, accusing him of playing "dirty politics" by using their daughter. After appearing before the SIT, her father and brother had said that Shivakumar would be responsible if anything happened to their family and urged him to send their daughter, who is at an undisclosed location, back to them.
DK Shivakumar has denied the allegations, stating that he had never met the woman. He said that efforts were being made to shut the case and added that the law will take its own course.
On Sunday, supporters of Ramesh Jarkiholi pelted stones and waved black flags at DK Shivakumar in Belagavi. However, the tussle between Ramesh Jarkiholi and DK Shivakumar is not new. The two leaders have been at the loggerheads for a long time and the rivalry escalated when the Congress-JD(S) coalition government headed by HD Kumaraswamy fell in 2019, as Jarkiholi spearheaded the rebellion of the 17 MLAs who resigned and paved the way for the BJP to come in power.