The Karnataka Police on Sunday booked Janata Dal (Secular) MP Prajwal Revanna and his father HD Revanna, a former state minister, for sexual harassment and criminal intimidation, The Hindu reported.

This came after the Congress government in Karnataka on Saturday announced that a special investigation team will probe the case of “obscene videos” allegedly involving the Hassan MP.

More than 2,000 pen drives carrying videos of alleged sexual assault against several women, allegedly recorded by Prajwal Revanna himself, circulated in Hassan ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in the constituency on Friday, The Indian Express reported.

Prajwal Revanna, the grandson of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, is also the Janata Dal (Secular)’s Lok Sabha candidate from Hassan. HD Revanna is the party MLA from Holenarasipur. The Janata Dal (Secular) is part of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance.

On Sunday, amid this controversy, the Holenarsipur Police registered a first information report based on a complaint by a woman, who worked in the Revanna household for three-and-a-half years.

The complainant is a relative of HD Revanna’s wife, according to The Hindu.

The woman has accused the former minister of sexual harassment whenever Revanna’s wife was not at home. She also accused Prajwal Revanna of inappropriately touching women workers in the house.

The complainant also said that she recognised one of the women in the explicit videos, allegedly involving Prajwal Revanna, that are being circulated. The woman used to work at a farmhouse owned by the Revanna family, The Hindu quoted her as saying.

The complainant said that she felt prompted to speak up against the HD Revanna and Prajwal Revanna following the recent developments, reported The Indian Express.

“I have come out now after getting to know hundreds of women were exploited,” she told reporters. “It is hard to live in Hassan and take on the family.”

The two have been booked under Indian Penal Code sections 354 (sexual assault), 509 (actions insulting the modesty of any woman) and section 506 (criminal intimidation). The first information report has been referred to the special investigation team that was formed on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Prajwal Revanna on Sunday, filed a complaint claiming that the videos being circulated were doctored and meant to “tarnish his image and poison the minds of voters”, NDTV reported.

Voting for 14 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka is scheduled for May 7.

Congress’ allegations

Congress leader Pawan Khera on Monday questioned why the BJP, the ally of the Janata Dal (Secular), had helped Prajwal Revanna escape to Germany amid these developments.

Khera also shared a letter allegedly written by Karnataka BJP leader Devaraj Gowda to the party’s state unit chief BY Vijayendra on December 8 mentioning that a pen drive containing the videos exists. In his letter, Gowda had said that the pen drive contained videos of women, including government officials, that were used to blackmail them into continuing to engage in sexual activities, The News Minute reported.

“If we align with the Janata Dal (Secular) and if we nominate a JD(S) candidate in Hassan for the Lok Sabha elections, these videos can be weaponised and we will be tainted as a party that aligned with the family of a rapist,” Gowda had cautioned his party in his letter, according to The News Minute. “This will be a big blow to the image of our party nationally.”

On Monday, Khera cited this letter to question why the BJP had gone ahead with its alliance with the Janata Dal (Secular) despite knowing this.

“Why did the prime minister campaign for and shared the stage with Prajwal Revanna despite knowing that Prajwal is the kingpin of world’s biggest and murkiest sex abuse,” Khera asked in a social media post.