Shahjahanpur case: Women activists seek President’s intervention

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Published on Sep 27, 2019 07:18 PM IST
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ByHT Correspondent, Lucknow

Women activists on Friday sought President Ram Nath Kovind’s intervention in the Shahjahanpur case, alleging that the Special Investigation Team was trying to shield former union minister Swami Chinmayanand and frame the woman student, who has accused him of rape, in an extortion case.

The women activists led by former MP Subhashini Ali raised the issue three days after the SIT arrested the woman for an alleged attempt to extort money. The activists staged a protest in the state capital and also mailed a memorandum to the President of India.

“The SIT booked him under a lenient section 376 (C). And the woman, who is a rape survivor, was also arrested for a case of attempt to extort money,” said Ali, who is vice-president of All India Democratic Women Association (AIDWA).

Everyone knew the investigating agency’s soft corner for Swami Chinmayanand, she said.

“Owing to his proximity with the top ruling (party) leaders, he was arrested after there was pressure from all sides and to save him and shift the narrative of the case, the woman was also arrested,” she added.

AIDWA state president Madhu Garg said the woman was a rape victim and she was treated badly by the SIT.

“If the woman accused him of rape, why did the police not book him under 376 (2)? Her father, who is the complainant in the case, also alleged disappearance of evidence from the woman’s hostel room, but the SIT did not bother to book anyone for this,” she said.

The woman’s family has urged the SIT to book Chinamayanand under Section 376 (2) on Thursday. The opposition has alleged that the SIT is trying to shield Chinmayanand and implicate the woman. The state government is under attack from the opposition and activists for allegedly weakening the case by not booking the former minister under 376 (2) of the Indian Penal Code that carries life imprisonment.

On Thursday, CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat met the woman in the prison as well as her family members. On being asked about the next step, she said, “We will follow the judicial process.”

She also said, “SIT is not only violating the spirit of the Supreme Court order but also using it as a shield to protect Chinmayanand.”

She added that the ruling side had pressured the investigation agency to turn this case around the woman.

“Now efforts are full-blown to declare the rape survivor as an extortionist. It is totally wrong and sending out a negative message for women anticipating justice from our system,” she said.

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