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Railway minister’s son Karthik booked for raping actress

BANGALORE: The son of Railway Minister DV 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.

“We have booked a case against Karthik after the victim filed a complaint late Wednesday ... under sections 176 (rape) and 420 (cheating)... and are investigating,” Deputy Police Commissioner TR Suresh said.

Maithreyi accused Karthik Gowda of sexually abusing and cheating her by getting engaged to another woman after marrying her ‘secretly’ in June 5 in Mangalore, about 350 km from here.

She made the charge on Wednesday evening after learning about Karthik Gowda’s engagement to the daughter of an industrialist at 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.

Officer Suresh said, “The victim will be asked to undergo a test to verify her charge. If it is proved that she was sexually assaulted, we will ask Karthik too to go through the test.”

“She has filed a complaint in RT Nagar police station against Karthik Gowda, Sadananda Gowda's son, for allegedly raping and cheating her,” Bangalore Police Commissioner MN Reddi said on Wednesday. The case has been booked against Karthik under sections 376 (punishment for rape) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code, Reddi said.

According to the complaint, Karthik married Maithreyi at his house in Mangalore and promised her to soon hold a public wedding after convincing his father and mother. “I met Karthik in Bangalore early May through a common friend and we became close over the weeks and had an affair after he assured me he will marry me,” Maithreyi said in the complaint.

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 Gowda told reporters.