Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah rules out central agency probe into Udupi college video incident

Speaking to reporters in Mangaluru, Siddaramaiah said those spreading rumours on social media will be firmly dealt with.

ByBellie Thomas

Published Aug 02, 2023 | 8:16 AM Updated Aug 02, 2023 | 8:16 AM

Udupi washroom video case

Categorically ruling out a probe by a central agency into the alleged video recording of a woman student in a Udupi college washroom, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said a deputy superintendent of police (DySP)-level officer was probing the incident.

The ABVP and its parent organisation, the BJP, have been demanding an investigation by an independent or central agency, saying that they were dissatisfied with the Congress-led government’s “perspective” of the incident.

Speaking to reports at the Mangaluru airport on Tuesday, 1 August, Siddaramaiah referred to National Women’s Commission member Khusbhu Sundar’s observation that no hidden camera was placed in the washroom. The chief minister offered to discuss the incident in detail after the completion of the probe.

Related: Karnataka cops dismiss communal angle in Udupi college incident

CM’s statement after probe

“I will make a statement on the issue only after the investigation is completed. When an investigation led by a DySP is on, the question of an SIT (Special Investigation Team) probe does not arise,” Siddaramaiah, who arrived in Mangaluru to attend review meetings, said.

Responding to the home minister’s remarks that the issue was a minor one between friends, the chief minister said that if it were so, a case would not have been registered. College students might have played a prank. But an FIR has been submitted to the court.

It has been alleged that three students recorded the video of another student in the Netra Jyothi College’s washroom on 19 July. The three students were suspended the next day.

The three students reportedly told the other student that they were “pranking” someone else and she was inadvertently videographed. They reportedly deleted the video in front of her.

Related: Accused students surrender before court, get bail

Zero tolerance towards moral policing

On the recurring incidents of moral policing in the Dakshina Kannada district, Siddaramaiah said those indulging in such acts would be sternly dealt with. No one would be allowed to take the law into their hands and the police department has been directed not to be lenient in such cases, he said.

The chief minister said action would also be initiated against those who spread rumours on social media.

“The government will not act against criticism, but spreading fake narratives will not be entertained,” he said, adding that strict action would be taken against those who spread false news against the government or any individual on social media.

Earlier, Siddaramaiah was accorded a warm welcome at the airport on his first visit to the coastal districts after assuming charge as the chief minister for a second term.

Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner Mullai Muhilan, Zilla Panchayat CEO Dr Anand K, Police Commissioner Kuldeep Kumar R Jain, Superintendent of Police P Rishyanth, Deputy Commissioner of Police Anshu Kumar and others welcomed the chief minister.

Minister for Health and Family Welfare and Dakshina Kannada district in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao accompanied the chief minister.

Siddaramaiah also attended meetings that reviewed the fallout of the recent floods in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts.