Hours after social activist Dinesh Kallahalli withdrew his complaint against former Karnataka Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi in the sleaze CD case, the latter’s brother Balachandra Jarkiholi sought a CBI probe into it as it was a honey trap with international ramifications.
“As my brother became a victim of honey trap and forced to resign on March 3 after a fake CD showing him intimately with an unidentified woman went viral on social media on March 2, we want a CBI probe to expose those behind the sordid episode,” Balachandra told reporters here.
Balachandra, younger to Ramesh, is a legislator from Arabhavi assembly segment in Belagavi district in the state’s north west region and chairman of the state-run Karnataka Milk Federation.
Ramesh defected to the ruling BJP in November 2019 from the Congress and won the Gokak assembly seat in the same district in the December 5, 2019 by-election.
He revolted against the 14-month Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S)-Congress coalition government along with 16 other lawmakers of both parties in July 2019.
Resignation of 14 then Congress and 3 JD-S lawmakers led to fall of the 14-month-old government on July 23 after its chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy lost the trust vote in the Assembly on the same night.
Accusing 2 unnamed persons behind the diabolic act to defame Ramesh and force him to resign, Balachandra said in Kannada that the intimate visuals in the CD were fake as they were doctored and morphed.
“The CBI should probe the sleaze case to verify its authenticity although Kallahalli withdrew his complaint against my brother, as it was trap laid to oust him (Ramesh) from the cabinet, reiterated Balachandra.
Alleging that the sleaze tape was uploaded on social media platform YouTube I Russia 3 hours before it was released in local (Kannada) news channels on March 2, Balachandra said 17 servers were used to make the CD go viral in the virtual world.
Kallahalli’s lawyer Kumar Patil submitted a letter in Kannada to the city police stating that he was withdrawing the complaint against Ramesh, as he was accused of taking Rs 5-crore ransom and damaging the reputation of the woman and her family,” a police official told reporters here.
“As I am hurt after former state chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy alleged that I took ransom for exposing Jarkiholi through a CD, whose release in the public domain has caused damage to the victim’s family,” said Kalahalli in the letter.
Though police waited for Kallahalli to depose before its investigation team in the case since March 4, he sought protection to visit Cubbon Park police station, as he feared for life following threatening calls from unknown persons.
“We will study the contents of Kallahalli’s letter given through his lawyer for the next course of action as he does not want to pursue the case due to pressure,” police said.