- Chinmayanand, 72, is accused of raping a college student
- SIT says will not be swayed by media
- The student questioned SIT why no action was taken despite complaint
A Special Investigation Team asked by the Supreme Court to probe accusations of rape and blackmail against BJP leader and former union minister Chinmayanand on Wednesday said it will not be swayed by questions raised in the media or accusations of trying to shield the influential Uttar Pradesh politician.
"You will have to have faith in some investigating agency. If the investigation is going in the wrong direction, the High Court will monitor us. They are authorized to take our statements. We are not going to be influenced by some person or a media trial," Naveen Arora, chief of the special investigation team or SIT, said at a news briefing.
"I cannot talk about any modification to the FIR (against Chinmayanand). No one has been arrested till now. We have only called people for questioning. We won't change our investigation because people are raising questions. We do not need to hand out certificates to prove ourselves," he added.
The young student, who has accused the Chinmayanand, 72, of rape, has questioned why the law enforcement authorities have not taken action even after she gave a detailed statement before a magistrate.
On Wednesday, the 23-year-old from Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, threatened to set herself on fire if the BJP leader is not arrested immediately.
"Even two days after I recorded my statement before a magistrate, Chinmayanand has not been arrested. If the government is waiting for me to die, I will sprinkle kerosene on my body and immolate myself," the student was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
The woman's father also said the Special Investigating Team has failed to explain why it was not registering an FIR against Chinmayanand after she filed a rape complaint in Delhi.
Meanwhile, two days after he was treated for "uneasiness and weakness", Chinmayanand was admitted to a hospital for low blood pressure, low sugar and chest pain.
The leader of the ruling BJP has been accused by the woman of sexually exploiting her for a year after helping her with admission into his college.
He allegedly filmed her taking a bath and blackmailed her with the video and raped her. The woman says she was raped repeatedly by the politician, who runs several ashrams and institutions. She was allegedly brought to his room at gunpoint and was even forced to give Chinmayanand massages.
The woman says she decided to gather evidence against him and filmed him with a camera in her spectacles. The case surfaced when she went missing on August 24 after putting up a Facebook post without naming Chinmayanand.
When the UP police tracked her down after a week, the Supreme Court heard her allegations and ordered a Special Investigation Team to inquire into them. The team questioned the woman, visited her hostel room and later questioned Chinmayanand for seven hours last week, but has yet to add rape charges against him; at present, he only faces charges of kidnapping and intimidation. He had in turn filed an extortion case but against unknown people.