Railway minister’s son summoned for questioning in rape case

Bangalore : Police Friday summoned the son of Railway Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda for questioning in a case of rape and cheating Kannada actress Maithreyi has filed against him.

“We have sent notice to Karthik’s house in the city, asking him to appear before our investigation team soon in connection with the case booked against him under section 376 (rape) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),” a police official told IANS here.

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The notice to Karthik was served after police began recording Maithreyi’s statement since late Thursday at an undisclosed place for security reasons. The process was resumed Friday afternoon after the Ganesh Chaturthi festival ceremony.

“As we are recording the victim’s version and asked her to submit some documents in support of her complaint, we have to know what the accused has to say in his defence as part of the investigation,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) T.R. Suresh.

The model-turned-actor lodged the complaint after she learnt from local news channels that 30-year-old Karthik got engaged to another woman (Swathi) Wednesday at Kushalnagar in Kodagu district, about 230 km from here.

Maithreyi also claimed that Karthik married her by tying a ‘mangalasutra’ (Hindu women’s symbol of marriage) around her neck June 5 at his other house in Mangalore, about 350 km from here, and had consummated their informal marriage.

The minister and his son, however, refuted Maithreyi’s charge and alleged that her claims were part of a conspiracy to malign their family’s reputation.

“Though my son has been falsely implicated, let the law take its course and we will not interfere in the case,” Gowda told reporters in Mangalore Thursday.

Police have no information about Karthik’s whereabouts, as he is learnt to have left for an unknown destination from Mangalore Thursday, a day after the betrothal ceremony at a private resort on the outskirts of the hill town.

On returning home from interrogation, Maithreyi told reporters that she had given the probe team proof of her age and educational qualifications and her conversations with Karthik she had on her smartphone during the last three months.

“Purpose of lodging the complaint is to seek justice and ensure no other woman, including Swathi who got engaged to Karthik, go through the trauma of betrayal as I have though I know that they (Gowdas) are rich and powerful,” Maithreyi contended.