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Karnataka Minister Jarkiholi courts controversy after sexual harassment charge

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Bengaluru, Mar 02: Karnataka Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi courted controversy on Tuesday as a social activist lodged a police complaint alleging sexual harassment to a ''job aspirant'' and threatening her and family of dire consequences.

Ramesh Jarkiholi

Even as the social activist Dinesh Kallahalli approached the Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant, some news channels started airing Jarkiholi''s purported intimate videos and photographs with the ''job aspirant.''

The Minister was not immediately available for comments.

After meeting Pant, Kallahalli told reporters that he has been asked to approach the Cubbon Park Police Station to lodge the complaint and to get an FIR registered there.

Kallahalli claimed that the woman did not wish to come out in the open and approached him to lodge a complaint, which alleged that the minister exploited her by offering a job.

In the complaint, Kallahalli claimed that when the woman from a poor family approached the minister for making a short film, he had sexually exploited her by assuring a job in the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited.

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He alleged that when the minister got to know that the woman had the ''CD'' (objectionable videos), he threatened her and her family.

"Since I am into social activism, they approached me with the complaint and the CD and shared all the details. Please investigate the truth of the matter, file a criminal case against the minister and provide protection to the victim," he stated in the complaint.

Union Minister for Coals and Mines Pralhad Joshi said he was not aware of the fact.

Speaking to reporters in Hubballi, he said if a matter like this has surfaced, it must be investigated to find out the truth.

He also said he would speak to the Chief Minister in this regard.

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