The friend of a law student who has accused BJP leader Chinmayanand of rape has spoken out for the first time and said he has handed over clinching proof to the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) inquiring into the allegations. The friend, who was found with the woman in Rajasthan after she went missing last month, has said that she had confided in him about the sexual assault months ago.
"She had been raped for a year. Earlier, she did not have the means to expose Swamiji. Now she has done so. I have handed over the proof to the SIT and it shows what Swamiji is doing. I have full faith in the SIT," the young man, who was the woman's classmate, told NDTV.
"She was my friend and classmate. She did not confide in me immediately. It took a lot of courage for her to confide in me," he said. As for himself, he said: "I find it difficult to sleep...I am scared for my life."
The law student has alleged that Chinmayanand, 72, helped her last year with admission into a college he runs, got her to move into the hostel, filmed her in the bath and blackmailed her. He allegedly raped her repeatedly and even forced her to give him massages. The woman, 23, has said in a statement to a magistrate that she started filming him earlier this year using a camera hidden in her glasses.
"She started confiding in me about how she was given a room in the hostel and how lodging expenses were waived. She did not know what was about to happen. She went to take a bath one day and Swamiji got a video made and then used the video to exploit her. This is true," the friend said.
"When she got very scared, she made arrangements to film the assault. She used to tell me Swamiji was threatening her."
Chinmayanand has been questioned by the SIT on a video that has been widely circulated over the past few days, of him lying naked, getting a massage from a young woman. His lawyer Om Gupta has alleged that the video is fake. "You must have seen Swamiji's video. His lawyer says the videos are fake and are from 2014. You can see for yourself. The videos did not have the time and date set. That's why the time stamp on the video appears to be from 2014," said the woman's friend.
The man has not been named in a "counter" case filed by Chinmayanand's team for extortion, but SIT sources have told NDTV he is definitely being investigated.
The allegations first broke out when the woman posted an SOS video on Facebook and went missing on August 24. She didn't name Chinmayanand but her family did; amid outrage, the UP police filed a missing report only three days later.
The woman was found by the UP police in Rajasthan six days later, with this friend.
"Earlier she didn't have the means to expose him. Now she has done it. I have handed over the proof to the SIT," said the friend.
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