Karnataka government working to provide shelter to militants, says Pralhad Joshi, questioning delay in Prajwal Revanna’s arrest

Pralhad Joshi criticised the Congress government for waiting one whole month to write a letter to MEA to cancel Prajwal Revanna's passport.

BySouth First Desk

Published May 26, 2024 | 4:49 PM Updated May 26, 2024 | 10:41 PM

Pralhad Joshi attacks Karnataka Congress government

BJP’s incumbent MP Pralhad Joshi on Sunday, 26 May accused the Karnataka Congress government of working towards providing “shelter to militants” in Hubballi. He also blamed the Siddaramaiah-led government for Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna, accused in multiple sexual assault cases, fleeing the country.

Alleging that Karnataka turned into a sleeping cell for terrorists after Congress came to power, he told reporters, “After Congress came to power in Karnataka, the state is turning out to be a sleeping cell for terrorists. It is sad that radical minds and anti-national forces feel that the state is a safe place for them. Even their (ruling Congress leaders) statements are on the same lines.”

His allegation comes days after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested one more accused in the Rameshwaram Cafe blast case. On 24 May, Shoaib Ahmed Mirza alias Chhotu (35), a resident of Hubbali city, who was previously convicted in a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror conspiracy case, became the fifth accused to be arrested in the case.

Related: Bengaluru cafe blast: NIA arrests ex-convict in LeT terror conspiracy case

On Prajwal Revanna’s escape

On 21 May, Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara said the state government has written to the Ministry of External Affairs to cancel the diplomatic passport of Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna, who is facing charges of sexual abuse, based on an arrest warrant issued against him by a court.

Referring to that, the Union Minister told reporters, “On May 21, they (Karnataka government) officially gave information about the FIR to the Government of India. It won’t happen, even if anyone writes a letter to the Foreign Minister or the Prime Minister.”

Saying that the CM writing a letter to the Union government doesn’t do anything and criticising the fact that it took nearly a month since Prajwal Revanna fled the country to write to MEA, he said, “It needs a court order or the police concerned should write a letter seeking cancellation of the passport detailing the specific charges, accused not available for the investigation and other investigation procedures including the filing of chargesheet.”

“When was the first pen drive released? It was out on 21 April. Prajwal was here till 28 April. Why didn’t you (state government) arrest? None has answered this so far. We have been condemning it and demanding for his arrest since day one. Why was he not arrested?” Joshi asked the Siddaramaiah government.

“Instead of politicising this. The Union government is working at a lightning speed. We were informed on 21 May and served notice on 23 May. There is eight more days’ time (for the cancellation of passport). We will promptly take action,” assured Joshi.

On Union govt’s commitment to arrest Prajwal Revanna

“If the Union government was alerted soon after the FIR, we would have issued a red alert at all the airports and caught him, if he was trying to flee. As per the prima facie, Prajwal Revanna’s is a serious case. Why was he not arrested?” asked Joshi.

Reiterating that the union government is committed to arresting Prajwal Revanna, Joshi said: “In this, there is no hide and seek and we have clarity in this. We are committed to arresting Prajwal Revanna, putting him under investigation and punishing him as per the laws.”

“The Union government is working at lightning speed. We were informed on 21 May and we served notice on 23 May. There are eight more days (for the cancellation of the passport). We will promptly take action,” assured Joshi.

Related: MEA sends show-cause notice to Prajwal Revanna asking why his diplomatic passport should not be cancelled

On Rameshwaram Cafe blast case

“They (Congress) termed it a cylinder blast and then Deputy Chief Minister had stated that the blast happened due to business rivalry,” the BJP leader said, alleging that the ruling government did not take the blast at Rameshwaram Cafe seriously.

Pralhad Joshi further alleged that the Congress government do not have a zero-tolerance policy towards such offences. “If we observe these statements, it appears they do not appear to be serious about restricting terrorist activities and do not have zero tolerance towards it,” charged Joshi.

Also Read: Three arrested after gang clash in Karnataka’s Udupi, BJP slams Congress government over law and order

Continuing his tirade against the state government, Joshi pointed out: “In Hubballi, two days ago, the NIA arrested one (terror suspect). I feel that it is a failure on the part of the Karnataka Home Department that he (terror suspect) is here only, but neither our state police nor intelligence knew about it.”

“The situation has gone to such a level that the NIA has to come to arrest. It clearly says that the state government is sleeping here. It appears that the state government is working towards giving shelter to militants,” Joshi said, levelling serious accusations against the Congress government.

(Edited by Neena)