- A woman accused VS Ugrappa of trying to cover up a 3-year-old case
- The woman said Mr Ugrappa first helped, later lost interest
- Mr Ugrappa said his political rivals were using the woman against him
Days before the Ballari bypoll in Karnataka, a woman today accused Congress candidate VS Ugrappa of allegedly trying to cover up a three-year-old sexual assault case involving her minor daughter. Mr Ugrappa denied the charges, claiming that his political rivals were using her to get back at him.
The woman told NDTV after a press conference that her daughter was sexually assaulted by a man in 2015, following which a case was filed under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. "The accused is in jail, and has been refused bail nine times. As there was too much pressure on us to withdraw the case, I approached Ugrappa sir. He was the chairman of a committee concerned with preventing atrocities on women and children then," she said.
She said Mr Ugrappa was very supportive in the beginning, and had spoken to the police and public prosecutor on her behalf. "He even promised to help us on live television, but later lost interest in us. In 2017, Mr Ugrappa called to demand that we withdraw the case. He said I should forget about everything and take care of my children," the woman added.
According to her, life has been difficult ever since the incident occurred. "My children are being tortured -- my son was assaulted by three local thugs -- and I am not doing too well either. We just get dates in court, and the police are uncooperative."
The woman exhorted the public against picking somebody who may not fulfil his duty towards the people on bypoll day. "I want justice for my daughter, but this is the reality that Kannadigas face on Rajyotsava Day. If a person in his position cannot give justice to my 11-year-old daughter, what protection and justice can he give to the people of Ballari?" the woman asked.
Mr Ugrappa, however, denied the charges. "I did work in a programme aimed at protecting women and children in the state, but nobody has levelled any allegations against me. That is because I never gave them any reason for complaint. The BJP is probably behind this because it knows that it is going to lose this election," he said.