Accused of sexual abuse, MP Prajwal Revanna arrested from Bengaluru airport, escorted by women police in symbolic gesture

The SIT set up to probe the sexual abuse allegations against Prajwal and his father HD Revanna arrested the former on Friday.

BySouth First Desk

Published May 31, 2024 | 1:57 AM Updated May 31, 2024 | 5:21 PM

Prajwal Revanna

Suspended JD(S) leader Prajwal Revanna was arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) at the Bengaluru airport on his arrival from Germany in the early hours of Friday, 31 May.

In a symbolic gesture meant to give confidence to victims of his alleged crimes, women police officers escorted Prajwal Revanna from the airport where he was detained.

They were led by two IPS officers, Suman D Pennekar and Seema Latkar. The Hassan MP was then taken in a jeep in which only women police were there. They took him to the CID office for interrogation.

“It was a conscious call to send all women officers to arrest Prajwal, sending home a message that the JD(S) leader exploited his seat and power as an MP with women. The same women have the authority to arrest him through all legal proceedings,” a source in the SIT said.

There was also a symbolic message to the victims that women officers were not afraid of anyone, the source said.

Taken for medical examination

He was later taken to hospital for medical examination under tight security on Friday, police said.

Escorted by female police officials, he was taken to Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital in Bengaluru.

Prajwal, the sitting MP from Hassan in Karnataka, is accused in several cases of sexual abuse. At least three women have come forward with complaints of sexual exploitation against the NDA’s MP candidate from Hassan.

Prajwal Revanna is also the grandson of former prime minister and JD(S) chief HD Deve Gowda and nephew of former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy.

Prajwal had applied for anticipatory bail before his arrival, but a special court rejected it. He reportedly left for Germany on 27 April, a day after Hassan went to the polls.

In a video he released to the media days ago, Prajwal Revanna vowed to present himself before the SIT on Friday.

The SIT is also contemplating a potency test on Prajwal. The Special Court for Public Representatives will hear the bail plea of Prajwal and his mother Bhavani Revanna on Friday.

Prajwal Revanna case: Thousands march in Hassan; demand justice for victims

The arrest

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) that the Karnataka government set up to probe the sexual abuse allegations against Prajwal and his father HD Revanna arrested the former from the airport on Friday.

The MP returned to Bengaluru a month after the scandal broke out, only to be taken into custody by the Central Industrial Security Forces sleuths, who in turn handed him over to the SIT.

A large number of policemen were deployed there to ensure that he was taken safely to a police station for investigation.

The SIT took him into its custody after the formalities, PTI quoted sources as saying.

A Special Court for Elected Representatives issued an arrest warrant on 18 May against Prajwal Revanna, following an application moved by the SIT.

Protests in Hassan

Prajwal’s arrest came less than a day after a sea of people staged a protest in Hassan against him.

Farmers, students, social workers, Dalit rights activists, gender equality activists, labour rights groups and several civil society groups came together to demand a fair probe into the allegations against him. They also called for his immediate arrest.

The march — under the banner ‘Namma Nadige, Hassanada Kadega‘ (Our march towards Hassan) — saw the participation of different organisations and civil society groups from across Karnataka, including women, labourers, farmers, Dalits, and sexual minorities.

A total of 143 organisations participated in the huge protest against Prajwal.

The organisers mobilised funds amounting to ₹35 lakh from the common people, farmers, and women to organise the protest.

Not even a single rupee was collected from any politicians, claimed the organisers.

Prajwal faces three sexual abuse cases, while his mother has sought anticipatory bail in an alleged kidnapping case.

Though Bhavani is not an accused in the case, SIT has reportedly desired to investigate her role.

In the same case, Bhavani’s husband and Holenarasipura MLA HD Revanna, who is Deve Gowda’s son, was arrested and later released on bail.

He is also accused of sexually harassing the cook of his house, who was also sexually abused by his son Prajwal.

(With PTI inputs)