LUCKNOW: The troubles for former Union minister Swami Chinmayanand, embroiled in a case of harassment and alleged sexual exploitation of a law student, are compounding with each passing day. He is now facing an FIR which may be registered against him soon as the 23-year-old law student, who had accused the BJP’s Swami Chinmayanand of raping her for more than a year, was brought to a local court in Shahjahanpur to record her statement on Monday.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by I-G Naveen Arora, brought the alleged victim, who had her face covered with a black scarf, before a judicial magistrate amid tight security to record the statement under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
The SIT, which was set up by the UP government in compliance of the Supreme Court order on September 3, is expected to lodge a first information report (FIR) on the basis of woman’s complaint after her statement is recorded. Significantly, the girl had submitted a 12-page rape complaint against Chinmayanand to Delhi police on September 5, 2019. It was later handed over to the SIT via UP DGP office on September 7 for investigation.
Earlier on Sunday, the SIT interrogated the Swami along with the friends of the girl. 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. Besides, the college staff including Amit Singh, Gaurav Gupta, Amit Saini and Adesh Pandey were also quizzed by the SIT. In fact, the girl used to work part-time in the E-Library of the college so her colleagues were questioned by the probe team. Moreover, the cook of the Mumukshu Ashram was also quizzed by the investigating team.
Meanwhile, the Swami was seen taking a stroll on the Ashram premises as he had been put under house arrest and asked not to leave Shahjahanpur without permission.
The second-year student of Law at SS Law College, run by Mumukshu Ashram headed by Swami Chainmayanad, had gone missing on August 24 after posting a video on Facebook a day earlier in which she accused “a big leader of the saint society” of threatening her with dire consequences and “destroying the lives of several girls.”
As the girl’s father approached the local police station with a missing complaint, the former Union minister was booked for allegedly abducting the woman. However, Chinmayanand too got an FIR lodged against unidentified persons for allegedly sending him extortion messages seeking Rs 5 crore if he wanted to save his image from getting maligned through videos on social media. Chinmayanand also denied the allegations made against him by the law student calling it a conspiracy to tarnish his image and his ashram.
The Supreme Court had stepped into the case and had ordered a special probe after she went missing and later found by UP police in Rajasthan after being on the run for nearly a week fearing backlash over the accusations she made on Facebook.
The allegation is the second time in less than two years that a BJP leader has been accused of rape – the other being Unnao MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who was expelled from the party earlier in August after the woman he allegedly raped met with an accident that killed two of her relatives and left her and her lawyer in a critical condition.