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Railway mininster’s son accused of ‘raping’ actress

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Bangalore, Aug 28 :

The son of Railway Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda has been booked for rape and cheating following a complaint by Kannada film actor Maithreyi, police said Thursday. The Gowdas denied the charges, even as Bangalore police summoned Maithreyi for recording her statement.

“We have booked a case against Karthik after the woman filed a complaint Wednesday… under sections 176 (rape) and 420 (cheating),” Deputy Police Commissioner T.R. Suresh told IANS.

Gowda's son Karthik
Gowda’s son Karthik

Maithreyi accused the 30-year-old Karthik Gowda of sexually abusing and cheating her by getting engaged to another woman after marrying her “secretly” June 5 in Mangalore, about 350 km from here.

She made the charge Wednesday after learning about Karthik’s engagement to Rajashri alias Swathi, daughter of industrialist Nanaiah, in Kushalnagar in Kodagu district, about 230 km from here.

Minister Gowda denied the charge and accused his political opponents of attempting to malign him and tarnish his family’s reputation.

His son too termed the charge baseless.

According to the complaint, Karthik married Maithreyi at his house in Mangalore and promised her a public wedding after convincing his parents.

“I met Karthik in Bangalore in May through a common friend and we became close over the weeks and had an affair after he assured he will marry me,” Maithreyi said in the complaint.

Sadananda Gowda, elected to the Lok Sabha from Bangalore North, said neither he nor his wife knew about their son’s alleged secret wedding to Maithreyi.

“It is a gimmick indulged by my political opponents for cheap publicity. As a case has been registered against my son, let the law take its course and justice prevail,” an upset Sadananda Gowda told reporters in Mangalore.

Meanwhile, Bangalore police Thursday summoned Maithreyi for recording her statement.

“We have summoned Maithreyi to record her statement. But she is not cooperating and did not report to the police station throughout the day,” circle inspector S. Raghupathy of R.T. Nagar police station told IANS.

Echoing his father, Karthik Gowda told reporters in Kushalnagar that Maithreyi’s claims were false and pictures showing them together were morphed.

“Someone behind her is trying to malign my father’s clean image,” he said.

Police directed Maithreyi to go for a medical test at the Ambedkar Medical College for Venereal Disease Research Lab to verify her charge that Karthik sexually abused her a couple of times.

“We are waiting for the medical report. If she tests positive, we will ask Karthik to take the test to ascertain if he had a physical relationship with her,” Raghupathy said.

Instead of going to the police station, Maithreyi visited a temple Thursday and spent hours in studios of local news channels, giving her version of events since she met Karthik May 8 at a coffee bar in the city through a common friend till their relationship snapped a week ago.

“I request the media to help me in getting justice, as I feel cheated and betrayed by Karthik who is my husband. We have also consummated our marriage, which happened June 5 when he tied a thread with turmeric pieces (mangalasutra or thalli) in front of his family deity in his house at Mangalore though none except his car driver was present,” Maithreyi said at a press conference.

Admitting that she had no legal or documentary evidence, including pictures of the informal marriage or witnesses supporting her claims, Maithreyi said Karthik promised to marry her formally in a grand way after convincing his parents.

“As I was also in love with Karthik and trusted him, I agreed to go with him wherever he took me and yielded to his requests for physical intimacy, as we both were married and were conducting as wife and husband. He even introduced me to his close friends as his wife,” Maithreyi said.

Clarifying that she filed a police complaint not to blackmail the Gowda family but to get Karthik back as her husband at any cost, Maithreyi said she tried to convince his mother that they both were married but did not succeed.

“Karthik stopped taking my calls and his mother told me when I met her in Bangalore Aug 11 to keep away from him as he would not marry me and that I should forget him and look for another man to marry and settle down,” the actor said.

Meanwhile, Congress activists staged a protest in the city and sought Gowda’s resignation and Karthik’s arrest.

As a model-turned small-time actress, Maithreyi acted in a couple of Kannada films like “Surya The Great” with Ajai Rao and “Maurya” starring Puneeth Rajkumar, son of thespian Rajkumar.

(IANS)