- Ex-Union Minister Chinmayanand faces rape allegations from UP law student
- No complaint has been registered against the politician so far
- Student alleges she was filmed, blackmailed, raped repeatedly by him
The allegation of rape by a law student in Uttar Pradesh against senior BJP leader and former union minister Chinmayanand will be investigated thoroughly, sources in the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that's probing the rape allegation said.
"It's incorrect to say we won't investigate Chinmayanand. We summoned him three days ago to appear for questioning, but we were told there are some health reasons. We hope to interrogate him in the next few days," the sources said.
The law student has alleged that she was filmed, blackmailed and raped repeatedly by Chinmayanand, who has not been questioned by the police so far. No complaint has been registered against the politician either.
The BJP leader's lawyer, Om Singh, however, said the allegation is a conspiracy against his client. "They (SIT) did issue a summon four days ago, but one of their officers went out of town and they recalled it. They said they would call Chinmayanand again. Whenever the SIT calls him, he will appear and reply to all questions. He is not unwell, not hiding. He is at his ashram, at his home," Mr Singh said.
Sources say in a statement to the Delhi Police and magistrate, the 23-year-old woman has described what she alleges was a year of sexual assault by the politician, who runs several ashrams and educational institutions.
"Media reports say we interrogated the girl for over 11 hours. That's not true. We spoke to her father for about five hours and then the girl (accompanied by her father) for another four-five hours. We are treating her as a victim and we did not interrogate her, but tried to help her to plug any loopholes in her statement," said a police officer of the special team, who asked not to be named.
She has reportedly repeated the allegations before a Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), which has questioned her for some 15 hours and has seen videos given by the woman.
"We are aware of the videos that are viral on WhatApp, and are also aware of the girl's complaint against Chinmayanand. We will definitely question him and take all other action that may be required. We have to submit a status report to the Allahabad High Court on September 23," the police officer said.
In her 12-page complaint, say sources, the woman has said she first met Chinmayanand, 73, in June last year for admission in a law course at a college in Shahjahanpur he runs. She alleges that he took her phone number and arranged her admission. He allegedly called her and also offered her a job at the college library for a salary of Rs 5,000.
She says she worked alongside her classes since her family was poor.
Chinmayanand allegedly asked the woman to move into the hostel in October and later invited her to his ashram. The woman claims he showed her a video of her bathing in the hostel, threatened to "make it viral" and forced himself on her. The politician allegedly also filmed the rape and used it for blackmail.
The woman alleges she was forced to give him massages and often, brought to him by his aides at gunpoint. The alleged assaults continued until in July this year, the woman decided to make videos as proof against Chinmayanand.
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