BJP leader calls DK Shivakumar ‘mastermind’ in Prajwal Revanna case probe; DyCM deems them ‘blatant lies’

Devaraje Gowda demanded that the Congress government in Karnataka transfer the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published May 07, 2024 | 10:47 AM Updated May 07, 2024 | 5:11 PM

Prajwal Revanna.

A day ahead of polling for the second phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka, Devaraje Gowda, a BJP leader from Hassan, made serious claims on Monday, 6 May.

Devaraje Gowda alleged that Deputy Chief Minister and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief DK Shivakuamr was the “mastermind” behind the probe into Prajwal Revanna’s sexual abuse videos case. Shivakumar deemed the allegations as “blatant lies”.

Devaraje Gowda on Monday released in Bengaluru a short part of a purported audio clips of his telephonic conversation with Shivakumar and BJP leader and former MP LR Shivarame Gowda. Shivarame Gowda joined the BJP ahead of assembly polls last year from JD(S).

He also released a purported video clip of his conversation with Prajwal’s former driver Karthik pertaining to these sexual abuse videos at his official residence in Hassan.

He alleged that a conspiracy was being hatched to frame him in the case by the chief minister and the deputy chief minister.

Citing a lack of transparency in the case, Devaraje Gowda demanded that the Congress government in the state transfer the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar denied the allegations and said the government would not interfere in the investigation of the Prajwal Revanna case.

Prajwal Revanna case: Bengaluru court bas media from involving Deve Gowda, HDK

Calls for CBI query

Devaraje Gowda told reporters in Bengaluru on Monday: “The deputy chief minister called a secret meeting of higher-level police officials on Sunday regarding the Prajwal Revanna case.”

He added: “The secret meeting was held to discuss who should be accused and arrested. The chief minister and deputy chief minister gave the cops some directions.”

He noted: “The state government has already constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case. I have already met the SIT chief and the team twice. They have taken statements from me, considering it as evidence.”

The BJP leader also said: “While giving my statement, I presented the bitter facts of the case before the SIT. With regard to the obscene videos, the accused have been arrested. Some people will be arrested in the coming days. The court will decide their fate.”

Devaraje Gowda also pointed out: “Secondly, a case has been registered against some persons at the Hassan City Police Station for sharing the obscene videos, which were released without blurring or hiding the identities of the victims.”

He claimed: “Karthik approached me at my official residence in Hassan. He gave me a file containing a notice and a petition copy. Along with this, he also gave me a pen drive. I met with the SIT. They took my statement. They asked me to submit the relevant evidence.”

Disclosing the video of Karthik meeting him at his official residence, Devaraje Gowda said: “I will hand over this video to the CBI. This video has clearly recorded Karthik stating who he met and gave this pen drive to.”

He added that Karthik asked him to vacate the stay order that HD Revanna had obtained on any videos or photos against Karthik being published. “I told him clearly that the stay could be vacated if and only if a victim made a statement,” added the BJP leader.

He continued: “I disclosed the conversation between me and Karthik to the SIT. In the video, he names a great leader who is in a position of power in this [state] government. The SIT demanded evidence from me on the statement that I made. Hence, I released this video.”

He also said: “I have given a detailed statement about how the pen drive reached Bengaluru and other aspects of it.”

Devaraje Gowda also said: “DK Shivakumar is the main character of this story. There is also a mediator. The only road that lies in front of them is to accuse Devaraje Gowda and shut this case down.”

He added: “I also received a big offer on this matter. I was told I would get a Cabinet-rank post after the Lok Sabha elections. The deputy chief minister sent his supporters and followers.”

Also Read: SIT probing Prajwal sexual abuse case sets up helpline for victims

DKS-Devaraje Gowda conversation

Devaraje Gowda released a half audio clip of his telephonic conversation with BJP leader and former MP LR Shivaramegowda and purportedly DK Shivakumar.

In the purported audio clip released by Devaraje Gowda, the telephonic conversation is as follows:

Devaraje Gowda: Namsakara Anna

Shivaramegowda: Where is your home now?

Devaraje Gowda: I have a home at Hebbal.

Shivaramegowda: Where are you residing now?

Devaraje Gowda: I am residing at Bommanahalli near Hoskote.

Shivaramegowda: How much time will it take for you to reach Sadashivanagar?

Devaraje Gowda: However I try, it will take one and an hour to reach.

Shivaramegowda: Has anyone stayed so far in Bengaluru?

Devaraje Gowda: I don’t want to live in the city. So, living in outskirts….

Shivaramegowda: I will give (the phone) to DK Shivakumar. You explain everything in detail about what happened. Leave the other things, we will be there. You say it clearly and about all the latest developments and other things that you got as well.

DK Shivakumar: Namaskara, Devaraj.

Devaraje Gowda: Anna, Namaskara, how are you?

Devaraje Gowda: Anna complainants have come; they are not tight. They don’t have straightness.

DK Shivakumar: Leave it, …..

However, Devaraje Gowda did not release the full video claiming that the inquiry is still underway and he wanted to disclose whose role was in it. “We will submit to the CBI as we don’t trust the SIT,” he reiterated.

Also Read: Congress hits out at PM Modi on sexual abuse allegations against Prajwal Revanna

‘SIT asked me to delete allegations’

Devaraje Gowda said: “They sidelined obscene videos and the victims. They chaired an emergency meeting only to frame me in the video sharing case.”

“I received a call from the SIT, where they told me that I will get a notice and have to turn up for the investigation. The mastermind behind this entire episode is DK Shivakumar.”

“After giving my statement, the SIT had summoned me again and asked to delete the allegations made on DK Shivakumar. It was said by one of the investigating officers, who is a SP rank officer, of the SIT,” alleged the BJP leader.

Releasing another audio, Devaraje Gowda said: “Secondly, LR Shivaramegowda asked me not to put the government in the tight spot and not take the name of DK Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah. He asked me to be in favour of the government.”

Devaraje Gowda released another audio clip, where he was reportedly having a telephonic conversation with Shivaramegowda.

Shivaramegowda: I have one request for you, do not touch Siddaramaiah, DK Shivakumar and the government.

Devaraje Gowda: Driver has to sign the affidavit, where is he now?

Shivaramegowda: He has been sent outside.

Devaraje Gowda: I will prepare any application.

Shivaramegowda: Do whatever you want to make it stronger. Give us whatever information you want, we will deliver it.

Devaraje Gowda: Okay…

After releasing the audio clips, Devaraje Gowda alleged that they had sent Shivaramegowda as a mediator. They have met over 10 times, where all the meetings are held at star hotels.

DKS main goal was to defame Modi: Devarje Gowda

Devarje Gowda said: “Their main goal is not Revanna but as JD(S) made alliance with the BJP, they wanted to make publicity that Modi is involved and has blessing and giving protection to such people (Prajwal Revanna).”

“DK Shivakumar’s goal is to bring the party to power at the centre and to defame Modi. Hence, he asked me to join hands with him. He also repents about not being able to help me with anything politically. He asked me to join hands, with assurance of all help in the elections,” elaborated the BJP leader.

He appealed to the Chief Minister to handover the case to the CBI, suspecting lack of transparency in the investigation by the SIT. “We will appeal to the Chief Minister, Home Minister and Governor to transfer it to the CBI. If they fail, we will take legal routes to get it transferred to the central investigation agency.

He also accused that victims are being given complete financial support to make statements by the Congress.

CM and Deputy CM denies allegations

After BJP’s Devaraje Gowda levelled serious allegations on the government and Congress, the Chief Minister and Deputy CM denied his allegations and reiterated that they would not interfere in the investigation.

In his post on X, CM Siddaramaiah said: “The SIT constituted to probe the allegations of sexual assault against MP Prajwal Revanna will conduct an independent and impartial investigation in which the state government will not interfere even a single inch.”

“SIT is working on remote control. BJP leader Devaraj Gowda’s allegation that it is a rubber stamp of the government is completely untrue. It is a ploy to avoid investigation with malicious intent to protect criminals,” CM denied the allegations.

He further said: “There is no point in BJP leaders now shouting that PM Narendra Modi’s name is being tarnished due to this case, this should have been thought of while forming an alliance with JD(S). The success of the SIT investigation is now entirely dependent on the cooperation of the Central Government.”

“The central government should cooperate in bringing the accused Prajwal Revanna, who is said to be abroad, to India.  The BJP, which still has a political alliance with JDS, needs to clarify its stand,” demanded Siddaramaiah.

DK Shivakumar said: “Devaraje Gowda had contested elections on a BJP ticket. He is an active worker of the BJP. The JDS and the BJP are embarrassed with the Prajwal case and hence they are trying to control the damage by shifting the blame on me through Devaraje Gowda.”

“Devaraje Gowda had tried to meet me to discuss the pen drive and internal issues of the BJP, but I could not meet him due to paucity of time. I will share with the media what Devaraje Gowda had tried to discuss with me once I am back in Bengaluru,” the Deputy CM blamed the BJP and JD(S).