A woman claiming to be the victim in a sex tape scandal involving Karnataka BJP leader Ramesh Jarkiholi released a video statement in Kannada on Saturday.
“This message is for Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai. I don’t know how, and what they did with the video. I have already been stripped of my dignity everywhere. People are coming home and questioning me. My parents tried to kill themselves two times. I, too, tried to kill myself three to four times," the woman said.
“Nobody is behind us. We don’t have any political support. Ramesh Jarkiholi promised me a job and did everything and released the video. I don’t know why and how. I don’t have any protection. All that I ask for is my security," she said. News18 could not independently verify the veracity of the woman’s claim.
The development comes after the Bengaluru police registered on Saturday a case of conspiracy and blackmailing, among other charges, against unknown persons based on a complaint by Jarkiholi, who resigned as the water resources minister after a CD purportedly showed him seeking sexual favours from a woman in exchange for a job.
The former minister sent his confidant, MV Nagaraj, to the Sadashivanagar police station in the afternoon to hand over the copy of his complaint.
In the complaint, Jarkiholi did not name anyone one but charged some people with an intention to extort money and defame him. He said a conspiracy had been hatched against him over the past three months to finish him off politically and blackmail him. “There are many people involved in it. Among them, a few hatched the conspiracy, became part of preparing the fake CD, and released it on the internet to create political instability," Jarkiholi said in his statement.
Following the video statement of the woman, Jarkiholi said her allegations came shortly after the FIR and that it was a proof he was being targeted.
The BJP leader said he had met home minister Bommai regarding the FIR, and that he did not know much about the woman’s video apart from what the media told him. “Let her complain if she wants. I will face it. The CD is fake. I have requested home minister Bommai to speed up the investigation," he said.
Responding to the woman’s claims, Bommai said he had not yet seen the video. “I have seen news reports. I am told the victim’s family is facing death threats. I have directed SIT officials to give them security. SIT will investigate the video," he said.
Earlier in the day, the special investigation team (SIT) formed to probe the alleged scandal detained a person from Vijayapura near Devanahalli in Bengaluru. So far, five people have been detained, including a hacker, reports say.