UP police question man found with missing woman in Chinmayanand case
The top court had taken suo motu cognisance of reports about the missing woman. It will hear the matter again on Monday.Updated: Sep 02, 2019 12:15 IST
Police in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur on Sunday interrogated the man found with a 23-year-old woman, who went missing after accusing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Swami Chinmayanand of sexual harassment.
The woman, a law student, had gone missing on August 24 after posting a video on social media a day earlier in which she accused “a big leader of the saint society” of threatening her and “destroying the lives of several girls.” Former Union minister Swami Chinmayanand was booked last week for allegedly kidnapping the woman after her video went viral.
The woman was traced to Rajasthan and produced before the Supreme Court on Friday. She told the judges in an in-camera interaction that she had left Shahjahanpur with three family friends to protect herself and does not “intend to go back to UP till she meets her parents”.
The top court had taken suo motu cognisance of reports about the missing woman. It will hear the matter again on Monday.
“The man has been brought to Shahjahanpur and investigation is on,” additional director general of police (Bareilly zone) Avinash Chandra, said.
A police officer privy to the probe said the man was being interrogated in another case filed by the BJP leader after he received an extortion and blackmailing message on August 22. Chinmayanand filed the extortion and blackmailing case after he claimed to have received a message on WhatsApp, demanding Rs 5 crore.
“The boy has not been arrested yet. We are investigating the case as initially there were some common links between both cases,” the officer said.
He added the phone from which the message was sent is yet to be recovered.
The Uttar Pradesh police, which hadn’t questioned the BJP leader named by the woman’s family, had insisted that there was a link between the disappearance of the postgraduate law student and an alleged attempt to extort Rs 5 crore from Swami Chinmayanand.
Meanwhile, the parents of the woman have been taken to Delhi on the direction of the Supreme Court.
The woman’s father had filed a formal police complaint and blamed Chinmayanand for his daughter’s disappearance. The woman was a postgraduate student at one of the colleges run by the BJP leader in Shahjahanpur.
Chinmayanand’s lawyer had rubbished the charge, calling it a “conspiracy” to blackmail his client. The BJP leader described the woman’s accusations as an attempt to malign the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh.
Chinmayanand’s lawyer Om Singh said on Sunday his client was in Uttarakhand and expected to come back to Shahjahanpur this week.
“Police have recovered the girl safely and we are happy about it. Police are still investigating the case and I am sure the truth will come out,” Singh said.