Woman’s Kin Allege Abduction in Jarkiholi Sex CD Case: All We Know

The case got murkier after a journalist and a video editor of a private TV channel were also reported to be missing.

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File image of leader Ramesh Jarkiholi, who has been recently embroiled in a sex CD case. 
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In a shocking turn of events in the Ramesh Jarkiholi sex CD case, the parents of a woman who was allegedly seen in the leaked videos with the former Karnataka Minister lodged a complaint with the Belagavi police alleging that they fear for their life and that their daughter had been abducted from Bengaluru.

Karnataka’s former Water Resources Minister Jarkiholi has been embroiled in the scandal since Kannada news channels on 2 March flashed visuals of him with the young woman, where he was accused of allegedly offering a government job in exchange of sex.

Jarkiholi, who later resigned on 3 March on ‘moral grounds,’ called it a conspiracy.

However, the case has now gotten murkier after not just the woman, but also a journalist, and a video editor of a private TV channel being reported to be missing.

WHAT HAVE THE PARENTS ALLEGED IN THEIR POLICE COMPLAINT?

The woman’s father on 16 March lodged a complaint at the APMC Yard police station in Belgavi stating that his daughter has been missing since 2 March, and claimed that she had been abducted from her PG in Bengaluru and was being held captive at a secret location, reported The Indian Express.

The FIR was lodged under Sections 363 (Kidnapping), 368, 343, 346 (Dealing with wrongful confinement), 354 (Assault), and 506 (Criminal Intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

The FIR notes that the woman, “has been forced into filming fake indecent videos,” which are being distributed to the media and that she is also being harassed sexually,” added the report.

WHAT IS THE WOMANS FAMILY SAYING?

The woman’s family released a two-minute video stating that their life was in danger, and their daughter had been abducted. The mother of the woman claimed that their daughter would explain to them in person what really happened.

The woman’s family alleged that a doppelganger was used in the alleged Jarkiholi video, stating, “She told us that she was not the one in the video. Miscreants seem to have used our daughter's doppelganger. My daughter has told her mother that someone who looks like her has been used in the video,” reported The News Minute.

They alleged harassment, and claimed that the woman was forced to act in such clips, which has brought disrepute to the family, stating:

“We are poor and not influential at all in any manner. But police must take steps to find where our daughter has been kept or is she even alive,” the report added.

A video of the woman was released on 14 March to the media, where she could be seen in tears, accusing Jarkiholi, and claiming that she didn’t know how the video was made available to the public. She added that she and her family had tried to take their lives a few times over the scandal.

“Nobody is there to protect our family. We don’t have any political support. It was Ramesh Jarkiholi who lured me with a job offer, and now this video has come out from their side. I do not know how this (video) was recorded,” she reportedly said.

WHO ELSE HAS GONE MISSING?

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed to probe the case is looking for a former journalist, who is allegedly involved in the scandal and has been missing for over a week from his home in Sira, Tumkur. The police have asked his wife to appear for questioning, noted The Indian Express.

A video editor of a private TV channel is also allegedly missing after being identified as the person to upload the CD to the internet on 2 March, added the report.

WHAT JARKIHOLI’S COUNTER-COMPLAINT SAYS

Jarkiholi himself has filed a police complaint claiming he was being blackmailed and asked to send money to a gang. He alleged that the CD was released after he refused to pay up.

The complaint has been registered by Jarkiholi under Sections 120B (hatching criminal conspiracy), 385E (extortion), 465 (forgery), and 469 (forging document and forging electronic material) – all under the IPC.

WHAT IS THE POLICE SAYING?

The police reportedly believe that an organised group was behind making and releasing the CD as an effort to blackmail Jarkiholi. They are on the hunt for the woman and two media persons, who are missing, and believed to be her associates, reported The News Minute.

The SIT was formed after Jarkiholi wrote a letter to the government alleging the blackmail conspiracy as a means by rivals to “end his political career,” added the report.

The SIT has identified over seven people who have been involved in the production and distribution of the CD, and has conducted searches in the advertising agency in Bengaluru where the CD was allegedly edited, including seizing computers and devices for investigation, added the report.

HOW HAVE POLITICIANS REACTED TO THE CASE?

Jarkiholi, who had defected from the Congress earlier to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is a politician from Belagavi in north Karnataka.

The BJP and Congress have been caught in a Twitter feud, with both the parties blaming the other for being responsible for the scandal.

When the scandal initially broke out, the Congress had demanded the minister’s resignation, and the BJP continued to back him up, claiming that he was a victim of a blackmail conspiracy.

Union Minister for Coals and Mines Pralhad Joshi, Karnataka Industries Minister Jagdish Shettar, and Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai denied any knowledge of the incident, according to The Print.

BJP spokesperson Ganesh Karnik stated that the party would take appropriate action once the investigation was concluded, added the report.

(With inputs from The News Minute, The Indian Express, and The Print)

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