UP law student who accused Swami Chinmayanand of rape brought to court amid tight security
The 23-year-old law student, who has accused the BJP’s Swami Chinmayanand of raping her for more than a year, was on Monday brought to a local court in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur to record her statement under heavy security.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) brought the woman, who had her face covered with a black scarf, before a judicial magistrate to record the statement under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). SIT is expected to lodge a first information report or FIR on the woman’s complaint after her statement is recorded.
The second-year student at a college in Shahjahanpur run by former Union minister Chinmayanand had gone missing on August 24 after posting a video on social media a day earlier in which she accused him of threatening her and “destroying the lives of several girls.”
Former Union minister Chinmayanand was then booked for allegedly kidnapping the woman after her video went viral. Chinmayanand has denied the allegations made by the law student and said that he was the target of an extortion attempt by the student.
On Sunday, SIT resumed questioning Chinmayanand after he was interrogated for eight hours on Thursday night. Three men, who were seen in a video with the complainant, and the principals of Law College and PG College in Shahjahanpur were also questioned. The SIT was formed on September 3 on the directions of the Supreme Court.
Before that, the investigating team along with a forensic team had on Friday inspected the bedroom in Chinmayanand’s ashram in the presence of the woman.
She had also handed over a pen drive to the probe team claiming it had evidence against the former Union minister. She had also recorded a statement supporting her rape allegations on the same day.
The SIT has also opened the sealed hostel room of the woman where she had claimed to have kept evidence against Chinmayanand in her and her father’s presence. Her father later said it appeared that someone had searched the hostel room before it was sealed as some of the evidence was missing.
The room was sealed on the direction of the Supreme Court when the harassment charges came to light in August.
The Supreme Court had stepped into the case and ordered a special probe after she went missing following her suggestion that Chinmayanand had also sexually assaulted several women at a college in Shahjahanpur where he is the director.
The woman was found by police in Rajasthan after being missing for nearly a week fearing backlash over the accusations she made on Facebook. She said she feared for her life and that the first time she approached Shahjahanpur Police, the district magistrate compelled her family to withdraw the complaint after telling her father to “think about the consequences”.