Nearly a fortnight after a 23-year-old law student accused Chinmayanand of sexual misconduct on social media, he was questioned by the SIT for 7 hours on Thursday, 12 September.
The case, which started with a Facebook video by the girl calling out the BJP leader for ‘destroying the lives of many girls,’ has gone through several twists and turns.
Earlier this week, the law student had alleged that the harassment began soon after she shifted to the law college hostel. Chinmayanand is the president of the law college’s management committee.
A day after an alleged video of the BJP leader getting a naked massage surfaced online, the family of the LLM student alleged on Wednesday, that some of the evidence she had collected against him was missing from her hostel room — opened by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Monday.
WHAT WE KNOW?
The girl who has levelled the allegations of sexual assault against Chinmayanand was taken to a hospital under heavy security on Wednesday for a medical examination.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Anita Dhasmana said that the woman was examined by a panel of doctors.
Meanwhile, the SIT probe by the Uttar Pradesh police in the alleged rape case is being termed as very "annoying and tiring" by the girl's family.
They claimed that the police is treating them as “culprits” even when they had not actually met the actual accused, reported PTI.
Amid all of this, the girl's brother handed over a pen drive to the SIT on Monday, claiming that if the SIT carries out a fair probe then the device has some vital evidence against Chinmayanand.
The BJP leader however, has expressed his full faith in the SIT probe.
YES, BUT WHAT HAPPENED WHEN SIT PROBED CHINMAYANAND?
The former Union minister Chinmayanand was questioned by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case on Thursday, 12 September.
He was questioned for seven hours, from 6:20 pm on Thursday till 1 am, reported IANS.
Earlier on Thursday, SIT had recorded the statement of SS Law College Principal Sanjay Kumar Baranwal and Secretary Avanish Misra as well.
Earlier, Chinmayanand had evaded questioning by SIT citing health reasons.
According to reports, he was interrogated on the allegations levelled by the law student as well as on a video clip purportedly showing him getting a naked massage by a woman.
WHAT DID THE SUPREME COURT SAY?
The Supreme Court, on 4 September, ordered the transfer of the girl as well as her brother to other law colleges affiliated to Bareilly University saying, “for us, their future is important.”
A bench comprising Justices R Banumathi and AS Bopanna was informed by the UP government that all arrangements had been made for the transfer of the girl and her brother to other college with hostel facilities.
The court had said that the girl told the judges that she doesn’t want to continue her studies in the college run by Chinmayanand’s ashram at Shahjahanpur.
After the court's order to set up an SIT to probe the allegations levelled by the girl, the court stated that if any directions, including that of security are required, then the matter must be mentioned before the Allahabad High Court.
WHAT IS THE SIT INVESTIGATION ABOUT?
The law student reportedly filed a rape complaint against Chinmayanand with Delhi Police.
The Delhi Police, however, forwarded the complaint to the SIT, which began its probe on Sunday, 8 September.
The SIT, on the same day, called the family members of the survivor at the district Police lines and recorded their statements.
Headed by Inspector General of Police Naveen Arora, the SIT has been set up by the UP government on the Supreme Court's order.
The team has also visited the Mukukshu Ashram of the BJP leader and toured the five colleges run by the ashram, Principal Avinash Misra told PTI.
WHAT IS THE GIRL SAYING?
Two days ago, the postgraduate student alleged that Chinmayanand raped her and physically exploited her for one year.
Addressing the media in Shahjahanpur, she further claimed that the police was refusing to register the rape case.
“The Delhi Police has registered this complaint at Lodhi Road police station and has forwarded it to Shahjahanpur police, which is not registering the rape case,” she said, reported PTI.
Referring to her hostel room, she said that she had all the proof in it and that it should have been opened in front of the media.
She also alleged, “On Sunday, the SIT quizzed me for about 11 hours. I have told them about the rape. Even after telling them everything, they have not arrested Chinmayanand yet.”
Citing her disappointment with the police, she alleged that the Shahjahanpur District Magistrate Indra Vikram Singh “issued threats,” and asked her father to file “a missing complaint.”
WHAT IS CHINMAYAMAMD SAYING?
Amid all the allegations, Chinmayanand has repeatedly claimed that it is a “conspiracy” to malign his image.
Addressing the media on 4 September, he further said, “We were trying to change our college into university. We were on the verge of finalising a date for a meeting with the chief minister for the same. This matter was raised during our preparations for the university. I don’t know who are these people who are trying to hamper the development of Shahjahanpur,” reported IANS.
His lawyer, Om Singh said that his client is innocent and is being framed. “The allegations will not hold water in court,” he said.
DID YOU KNOW?
Mouting trouble for Chinmayanand, on 11 September, a video purpotedly showing him naked and receving a massage by a woman surfaced on the Internet.
A website posted screenshots from the video and claimed that it was shot by the woman herself through a camera fitted in her spectacles.
Chinmayanand's lawyer said, “I am sure the video is not authentic and should be sent to forensic lab for test. Action should be taken against such people who are trying to ruin the image of Swami ji.”
Meanwhile, another video surfaced on Tuesday night, purportedly showing four young men and a woman planning to extort money from from Chinmayanand, IANS reported.
Chinmayanand's name, however did not figure in the interaction among the five. Neither there are any leads to tell when and where the video was filmed.
Earlier, Chinmayanand had managed to filed an FIR that he has been getting extortion calls.
WHAT ARE THE POLITICIANS SAYING?
A day after the student levelled fresh allegations of rape and exploitation against Chinmayanand, Congress on Tuesday criticised the BJP government at the Centre and in UP of “incompetence” in dealing with crimes against women.
Congress spokesperson Ragini Nayak said, “The blatant example of criminal history is being repeated and it can be seen in the largest state of this country (Uttar Pradesh) which is ruled by the BJP.”
Nayak added, “A girl came forward and complained that she was raped by BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand for a year. Now there's this video where she's saying that she — the victim - was questioned by SIT (Special Investigation Team) for 11 hours on Sunday while the accused has not even been questioned for 11 minutes,” reported IANS.
Earlier, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi had also slammed the Adityanath-led government in a series of tweets. “Not a day goes by in UP, when the BJP government manages to assure women that you are safe and you will get justice if something happens to you.”
She also compared the law student's case with the Unnao rape case and said, “If a woman complains against a BJP leader, far from getting justice, she is not even guaranteed of her safety.”
The law student was reported missing from Shahjahanpur on 23 August, a day after posted the video on Facebook alleging that “senior leader of the sant community” was harassing and threatening to kill her.
She was traced to Rajasthan’s Dausa district on 30 August.
The girl, however, alleged that she had left Uttar Pradesh with her three college friends to “protect herself”.
Chinmayanand, who has blatantly denied the charges, has been booked under 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC based on the father’s complaint.
(With inputs from PTI, IANS)
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