Rape charge scalds Halappa

Minister allegedly violated friends wife

Rape charge scalds Halappa

Karnataka Food and Civil Supplies Minister Hartal Halappa

As the report was being flashed in the media in the evening, a homemaker from Shimoga lodged a complaint with the Bangalore police that she was raped by Halappa in November, and sought his arrest.

Earlier in the day, Halappa submitted his resignation to Chief Minister B S Yeddurappa following the newspaper report.  The homemaker, Chandravati, and her husband Venkatesh Murthy met Director-General of Police Ajai Kumar Singh on Sunday evening in Bangalore and sought punishment for Halappa. They also met officials at Raj Bhavan seeking the governor’s intervention. 

They released copies of a CD to the media which showed Chandravati lying on a cot wearing a night gown and wiping her tears. Later, the footage showed her sobbing and abusing some one with Halappa leaving the room. It has been recorded using a cell phone.

In their 12-page complaint to the police , the couple alleged that Halappa stayed overnight in their house on November 26 in Shimoga, the night when Halappa reportedly sexually abused her.  By the time the couple surfaced in Bangalore around 9 pm on Sunday, Halappa had become a former minister. He tendered his resignation to the chief minister around 9 am.

A Kannada daily in its Sunday edition reported that a minister from Shimoga had reportedly raped a married woman. The incident did not come to light as Halappa had threatened the couple of dire consequences if they made it public.

The paper had neither named the minister nor identified the couple. Still, Halappa rushed through his resignation in Bangalore which was accepted by Yeddyurappa who was in Gujarat. Yeddyurappa described Halappa as a “satvik” (pious) man.

According to a Belgaum report, Yeddyurapa said Halappa need not have submitted his resignation as he seemed to have been framed by his political rivals. Yeddyurapa, however,  transferred the Food & Civil Supplies portfolio to Transport Minister R Ashok.

Halappa pretended that he was unaware of any such incident till the couple met the police. He had argued that his detractors, including BJP legislator Gopalakrishna Belur, S Bangarappa and his sons, had conspired against him as they were jealous of his political growth. He had dubbed the story a concocted document.

He was in a TV studio to give a live interview when the couple went to meet Ajai Singh in the evening. The moment the channel began airing the shots, Halappa admitted that Murthy is related to him and Chandravati is his (Murthy’s) second wife. “I am paying the price for sleeping in my friend’s house. I know how to get justice.”

The jarring video shots showed Chandravati’s swollen red face and some blood stains on the floor. Her husand was shown talking on a cell phone leaving a question as to who had videographed the incident.

Murthy told reporters that he was not ready to file the complaint till Saturday. Halappa’s henchmen met “my children and threatened that they would finish him. My children cried. That’s the reason why I decided to make it public. I have been receiving threatening calls. I am not sure of getting justice in Shimoga. Hence, I have come here. I wish I’d killed him the same day. Halappa’s money and muscle power can hush up the case. We want him to be punished,” he said.

A sobbing Chandravati said she wanted Halappa to be arrested and punished immediately. Chandravati in her complaint has accused Halappa of acts of rape, wrongful restraint, wrongful containment and criminal intimidation.  She said Halappa had dinner in their house and stayed overnight on November 26. He wore her husband’s dhoti and slept in their guest room. Around 3.30 am, he cried for help on the grounds that his blood pressure had increased. He asked Murthy to go the government inspection bungalow and bring medicine.

After her husand left the house, Halappa entered her room and forced himself upon her. Despite her screams, he did not budge. When the act was almost over, her husband arrived at the room to find her crying helplessly and Halappa with his clothes in disarray.
Halappa was then beaten and chased by the couple even as he apologised.

She further complained that Halappa called them repeatedly and offered compensation. Later, he began threatening them by sending rowdies and calling them frequently through various cell phones, she alleged. She said she attempted suicide twice. “At one point, we decided to end life unable to bear the harassment by Halappa,” she added.

The scandal has come as a severe blow to the Yeddyurappa-led government at a time when thousands of BJP workers are contesting  gram panchayat elections. The shell-shocked BJP leaders, including the chief minister, made a vain bid to give a clean chit to Halappa.  The Opposition Congress lambasted the BJP government. The Congress also demanded the arrest of Halappa, a CBI probe and the resignation of the chief minister.

Predator?

* Halappa says he is innocent

* Minister’s political career takes a nose dive

* Congress demands CBI probe

* Bangarappa rubbishes allegations

* CM gives clean chit to Halappa

 

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