Citizens write to NCW; Question lack of strong action against Prajwal and HD Revanna in sexual abuse case

The letter criticised NCW for "Failing the women of this country, by becoming an agency for political vendetta, agendas of BJP."

BySouth First Desk

Published May 04, 2024 | 10:41 AM Updated May 04, 2024 | 12:03 PM

Prajwal Revanna

Over 700 citizens from across the country wrote to the National Commission for Women (NCW) demanding strict action against BJP’s ally in Karnataka JD(S) MLA HD Revanna, and MP Prajwal Revanna in the sexual abuse case.

The letter was written as part of the petition initiated by the All-India Feminist Alliance (ALIFA) and Women for Democracy (WFD).

In the missive addressed to the national chairperson of NCW, the citizens expressed their dismay regarding the lack of stringent and prompt action against the accused.

The letter further questioned the silence of NCW in not just the Prajwal Revanna case, but also in various other previous instances, when the perpetrators of the crime belonged to the ruling BJP or their allies.

It further demanded a public apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi too.

Further speaking of the weak or inconsistent action of NCW, the letter said, “This erodes public confidence in the NCW, and the trust of women of the country in such bodies, meant for redressal and for systemic or structural changes in our institutions and society.”

Noting that the NCW has written to the Karnataka DGP, the letter deemed the action insufficient.

Also Read: Rape case registered against Prajwal Revanna, says Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah

Letter questions NCW

The letter demanded answers to the following questions:

  • Why has the response of the custodian of women’s rights in the country (NCW) remained so minimal, when no less than a Member of Parliament and a sitting MLA face grave charges of sexual abuse and violence against multiple women, that too in an unprecedented manner?
  • How was Prajwal Revanna allowed to flee the country on a “diplomatic passport”, without having to face the consequences for his atrocious and criminal unlawful actions, and who all in positions of power, facilitated the same?
  • Why was Prajwal Revanna allowed to contest the Hassan Lok Sabha seat from the NDA, even after his actions of widespread sexual abuse were known and even communicated through a letter dated 8 December 2023 by Devaraje Gowda, a BJP MLA candidate to no less than the Home Minister Amit Shah?
  • By campaigning for a serial sexual abuser like Prajwal Revanna and allowing him to contest an MP seat, what message are the Prime Minister and the Home Minister conveying to the women of India?

The letter criticising the NCW for inaction, said, “NCW has failed the women of this country, by allowing the institution to become an agency for political vendetta and agendas of the ruling party at the Centre.”

“The lack of swift action in numerous cases of violations of women’s rights only establishes that the Commission is no longer keen on upholding women’s rights as per its mandate in the NCW Act of 1990. We hope that at least now, NCW will live up to its mandate and do the needful.”

Also Read: Ex-Zilla panchayat member says Prajwal Revanna repeatedly raped her

Demands from the citizens

Apart from the arrest of Prajwal and Revanna, they demanded the arrest of other accused who facilitated and concealed the crime.

They also demanded the immediate cancellation of Prajwal Revanna’s diplomatic passport.

Other demands include:

  • Ensure the protection of the identities of survivors as well as adequate safety and security to all the women who have faced sexual abuse, who have complained, are likely to complain and are potential witnesses in the case, as per the Witness Protection Scheme, 2018.
  • Ensure necessary psychological, medical, financial and legal support to all the survivors of the sexual assault, as well as rehabilitation in terms of NALSA’s compensation scheme for Women Survivors of Sexual Assault, 2018.
  • Recommend the disqualification of HD Revanna as an MLA and that Prajwal Revanna should not be allowed to assume charge as MP, even if he is declared a winner until the charges against him are judicially settled and he is held fully accountable for all offences committed.
  • Issue summons to the BJP President to inquire into the information available to the ruling party about the criminal activities of Prajwal Revanna since December 2023 and why no action was taken by it in this regard, when BJP decided to allow the accused to contest as an MP from BJP-led Alliance of NDA, with the Prime Minister himself campaigning for him.
  • Direct all online platforms and digital search engines to de-index and take down the videos and images immediately, to protect the safety and dignity of the survivors. Circulation and distribution of this content online and offline must be strictly forbidden and stern legal action must be taken against those who circulate the videos or images of the women survivors.

Also Read: ‘Prajwal raped 400 women,’ alleges Rahul Gandhi

Sexual abuse case

Prajwal Revanna and his father HD Revanna have been accused of sexually abusing multiple women, and filming them.

Scores of explicit video clips allegedly involving the 33-year-old MP had started making the rounds in Hassan in recent days.

He is the NDA candidate in the Hassan Lok Sabha constituency where polling was held on 26 April. Prime Minister Narendra Modi campaigned for Prajwal Revanna and sought votes for him.

The Congress-led Karnataka government has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case.

So far three cases have been filed against Prajwal Revanna, for sexually abusing and raping three women.

On Friday, a former member of Hassan Zilla Panchayat (ZP) has accused Prajwal Revanna of raping her multiple times over three years and video graphing the alleged crime.

Another FIR was filed by a victim’s son against HD Revanna for kidnapping his mother, and also alleged she was raped by Prajwal Revanna.

The first complaint was filed by a former cook at Revanna’s residence against both the father and son for sexually assaulting her.

(Edited by Sumavarsha Kandula.)