Chinmayanand accuser’s bail plea to be heard on Monday
The bail appeal of the woman who accused former Union minister Chinmayanand of rape, and was arrested on Wednesday in an extortion case filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran, will be heard in a local court in Shahjahanpur on September 30, according to the woman’s father.
Her lawyer had appealed on Tuesday for anticipatory bail in the case, but the woman was arrested before the court ruled on the matter.
The lawyers of Chinmayanand, who was arrested last Friday in connection with the complaint by the woman but has been housed for treatmment at a Lucknow hospital, have applied for bail as well. That plea, too, is scheduled to be heard on September 30.
Several Opposition parties on Thursday attacked Uttar Pradesh’s ruling BJP over the arrest of the 23-year-old law student by a special investigation team (SIT) probing the case.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat on Thursday visited the Shahjahanpur jail to meet the law student. Karat spent about 30 minutes in the prison, and later discussed the case with the woman’s family. She also visited the Shahjahanpur police lines to meet the SIT officials.
Speaking to the media later, Karat said: “Why was the girl sent to jail for a bailable offence? This is inhuman .”
The woman and her family have denied involvement in the extortion case, in which, according to the SIT investigators, she has confessed her involvement. “My daughter has not confessed to anything. She was arrested to put pressure on her and weaken her case against Chinmayanand. We just want to appeal to the government to ensure that justice is done in the case,” said the women’s father. “We are being harassed, while Chinmayanand is being ‘pampered’ at SGPGI (Sanjay Gandhi Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences).”
Samajwadi Party president and former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav also criticised the BJP over the arrest of the woman. “The BJP has revealed its real face by sending the daughter, who mustered the courage to raise her voice against a BJP leader, to jail. Today every daughter, sister, and mother in the country is saddened by this shameless act and some people are saying ‘everything is fine in the country’. Condemnable! The slogan of ‘Beti Bachao’ too has turned out to be a jumla after all,” Yadav tweeted on Thursday
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi said on Twitter: “The arrest of accused BJP leader was deliberately delayed by the police. Arrested after public pressure. The accused has not even been charged with rape so far. Wah re BJP ka nyay.”
Last week, when Chinmayanand was arrested on the complaint by the law student, it coincided with the arrest of three more people - Sanjay Singh, Sachin Sengar and Vikram Singh - for allegedly attempting to extort money from Chinmayanand. The woman is a co-accused in that matter.
The case hit national headlines last month when the woman went missing on August 24 after posting a video on social media alleging that a “senior leader of the seer community” was harassing and threatening her. Her father went public to blame Chinmayanand for her disappearance. She was later traced to Rajasthan.
The woman, who studied at a college run by Chinmayanand’s ashram, also alleged that she was raped and physically exploited by the 72-year-old for over a year. He has denied the charge.
A BJP spokesperson in the state had on Thursday said Chinmayanand was not in the party anymore.