Karnataka Congress seeks arrest of tainted BJP MLA

Bengaluru:┬áKarnataka Congress on Thursday sought the arrest of ruling BJP’s tainted MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi, who resigned as minister in early March after a purported sleaze video of him with a woman came to light.

“We urge state Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai to arrest Jarkiholi, as he was caught in the sleaze video with a woman, who accused him of raping her on the pretext of getting her a government job,” state Congress President D.K. Shivakumar told reporters here.

Jarkiholi resigned on March 3 as state Water Resources Minister, a day after the sleaze video went viral on social media. It was also aired on local news channels on March 2.

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Jarkiholi got re-elected from the Gokak Assembly seat in Belagavi district after he defected from the Congress and joined the BJP in November 2019. He became a cabinet minister in February 2020.

Outraged by the state government’s alleged indifference to the victim’s plight, Shivakumar said it is a matter of shame that Jarkiholi is allowed to roam free even after state police charged him under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for the alleged rape, based on a complaint filed by the woman.

“Though an FIR was filed against Jarkiholi on the victim’s complaint in mid-March and he was interrogated by the investigation team, he remains at large, as the police seem to be acting on the ruling party’s instructions, rather than complying with the law of the land,” said Shivakumar.

Even as the state legislative assembly was in the Budget Session during March, Jarkiholi went to Gokak and got admitted to a hospital after he tested Covid positive and was advised rest at home after being discharged.

“As the honour of the state police department is at stake, its officers should not delay such an important case in public interest and arrest the accused for investigation and trial, as the victim and her family have been denied justice even after she deposed before the investigation team and submitted evidence against Jarkiholi,” added Shivakumar.

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