The UP college student who accused BJP leader and former Union Minister Chinmayanand of rape was today taken to her hostel room in Shahjahanpur district by members of a Supreme Court-constituted SIT, in the presence of a magistrate, to gather evidence in the case. The young woman, who last month went missing for a week because she feared for her life, has alleged the former BJP MP “raped and even exploited me physically for one year” and that she and her family had received threats from the accused, the UP Police and the Shahjahanpur district administration.
The 23-year-old, who is a law student at a college run by Chinmayanand, 72, submitted a 12-page document to Delhi Police on Thursday, declaring she had lost faith in their UP counterparts’ ability to protect her and deliver justice. Delhi Police have handed over the complaint to the SIT.
“I have no problem answering questions but at least arrest the accused. I was running for days, trying to save myself. The Shahjahanpur DM threatened my father, he warned him to think about who the case was being filed against. There is a threat from UP police,” she told reporters earlier this week while wearing a black scarf across her face to protect her identity.
She had also said she would provide evidence to back her allegations “at the right time” and that “the evidence is safe in my hostel room”.
The young woman went missing on August 24, a day after she posted a video accusing Chinmayanand of sexual harassment and calling on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for help. She was traced to Rajasthan and brought before the Supreme Court, where she told judges she had left to protect herself. The top court ordered a Special Investigation Team (SIT), which began work on September 3, to inquire into her allegations.
“He raped me, sexually exploited me. I have told the SIT everything. A girl raped for a year is questioned for 11 hours,” the woman said on Monday.
Chinmayanand has declared he has “full faith in the judiciary” and his lawyer called the woman’s rape claims “new drama”.
“On August 24 she made the first video… she didn’t say something had happened to her. She alleged he (Chinmayanand) had destroyed lives of many girls and (was) threatening her… when she was not successful in her conspiracy, she created new drama,” Om Singh, Chinmayanand’s lawyer said.
Although the woman did not name Chinmayanand at the time of initial allegations, her father named the influential politician in his complaint. As the case became public, he was charged with kidnapping and intimidation.
His lawyer has denied claims he has been trying to avoid the police. “Swami is not running away from the case. He is engaged in spiritual activities, but will definitely appear before the Delhi Police whenever required,” news agency ANI quoted his lawyer as saying.
Chinmayanand, said to be a powerful politician, has an ashram in Shahjahanpur and runs five colleges in the town. He also runs ashrams in Hardwar and Rishikesh; his empire is believed to be worth crores though there is no official estimate.