A social activist on Sunday withdrew the complaint that he filed against former Karnataka minister Ramesh Jarkiholi for allegedly sexually harassing a woman in return for a government job, India Today reported.
Dinesh Kalahalli’s lawyer claimed his client took the decision because the woman’s image was being tarnished on social media. He added that the activist will not bow down to political pressure.
Purported videos of the unidentified women and the minister, as well as some telephone conversations, were shared on social media last week. The videos were also aired by Kannada news channels. Kallahalli had submitted a CD of all the video and audio clips to the police.
The activist wrote a letter to the Cubbon Park police station in Bengaluru to withdraw his complaint. “If the cloth falls on a thorn or a thorn falls on a cloth, only the cloth tears,” Kalahalli said in the letter according to Hindustan Times.
However, the activist said he was ready to speak to the police and provide them the necessary information related to the case, India Today reported.
Meanwhile, Ramesh Jarkiholi’s brother Balachandra Jarkiholi demanded that the Central Bureau of Investigation conduct an inquiry into the case, The Hindu reported.
Balachandra Jarkiholi alleged that the purported videos of the incident were fake. “We now have information that as many as 17 servers were booked in Russia to upload the video on YouTube, three hours prior to Dinesh Kallahalli approaching the police,” he was quoted as saying by the newspaper. “Between Rs 10 crore and Rs 15 crore has been spent to book the servers to bring disrepute to the family and the BJP.”
Ramesh Jarkiholi had resigned as the Karnataka water resources minister last week, after a controversy erupted over the videos. However, he denied the sexual harassment allegations and said that he was quitting on “moral grounds”.
After Jarkiholi’s resignation, six ministers in Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa-led Cabinet – Shivram Hebbar, BC Patil, Byrathi Basavaraj, Somashekhar, K Sudhakar and Narayan Gowda – approached a court seeking to stop media houses from publishing unverified or defamatory content against them.
The ministers claimed that the media had telecast news reports about the incident without verifying their sources and authenticity, which led to Jarkiholi’s resignation.
The court restrained 68 media houses from publishing defamatory content against the six ministers till the next date of hearing on March 18.