Chinmayanand grilled for 8 hours past midnight, bedroom at ‘ashram’ sealed
Amid tight security on Friday morning, the SIT, accompanied by the woman complainant and a forensics team reached the Bharatiya Janata Party leader’s ashram-residence to inspect the bedroom that was sealed the previous night.Updated: Sep 13, 2019 18:13 IST
A special investigation team (SIT) formed to probe a law student’s rape allegations against Swami Chinmayanand grilled the former union minister for eight hours at the Shahjahanpur police lines in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday night. Later, in the wee hours of Friday, sleuths sealed Chinmayanand’s bedroom at his Shahjahanpur ‘ashram’.
The ‘ashram’ is located close to the law college where the complainant is a student.
Amid tight security on Friday morning, the SIT, accompanied by the woman complainant and a forensics team reached the Bharatiya Janata Party leader’s ashram-residence to inspect the bedroom that was sealed the previous night.
A police officer, requesting anonymity, said the room had to be inspected in the presence of the woman to verify her allegations.
“No one is allowed to enter or exit Chinmayanand’s house till the probe team is inside. The forensics team will inspect the (bed)room that was sealed last night (Thursday),” he said on Friday.
After Chinmayanand was asked to join the investigation, he reached the police lines at 6 pm on Thursday and was with the SIT till after 1 am on Friday, according to his lawyer Om Singh.
“Then SIT arrived at Swami ji’s residence to inspect the bedroom and then sealed it. It is a part of the investigation process. They (SIT) sealed it on Thursday night and will open it after the probe is over,” said Singh.
The SS Law College, where the complainant is a student, remained shut on Friday at the request of the special probe team which cited security concerns.
On Tuesday earlier this week, the SIT had entered the sealed hostel room of the 23-year-old complainant after she told the police that all the evidence to back up her allegations against Chinmayanand were kept in her hostel room. “The room was opened in the presence of the woman and her father,” said a police officer.
The hostel room had been sealed on the directions of the Supreme Court after allegations against the former union minister first reached the top court in August
The law student’s father -- who had apprehended that her daughter had been kidnapped after she went missing -- said it appeared that someone had searched the hostel room before it was sealed. “Some of the items that my daughter had kept there as proof were not found,” he alleged.
On Sunday, the SIT had questioned the woman, her father and brother for over 11 hours. Statements of the principal of SS Law College, Sanjay Kumar Baranwal, and secretary Avanish Misra were also recorded by the probe team.
The SIT, headed by inspector general of police Naveen Arora, was formed on September 3 on the directions of the Supreme Court.
The law student went missing on August 24, a day after posting a video on the social media in which she had accused “a big leader of the saint society” of threatening her and “destroying the lives of several girls”. Soon after, her father came forward to say that the leader she was referring to was Chinmayanand.
On August 27, the former union minister was booked for allegedly kidnapping the woman. Later, she was located in Rajasthan where she said she had gone with a friend to protect herself.
First Published: Sep 13, 2019 17:46 IST