Father of the 23-year-old law student who has accused BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand of sexual assault told The Indian Express that police had little evidence against her and alleged that they were trying to “save” Chinmayanand.
"“The SIT today arrested my daughter on false allegations. There is no evidence against her and SIT booked her on false charges showing that she was with those three youths (arrested in the extortion case). It is all false. My daughter has nothing to do with this. In her statement, my daughter never confessed to any crime and SIT has been spreading lies in the media.”" - Law student’s father to The Indian Express
The Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police OP Singh on Wednesday, 25 September, said the law student, who had accused former Union minister and BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand of sexually harassing her, has been arrested by the SIT for allegedly trying to extort money from him, news agency ANI reported.
The court has sent the woman to a 14-day judicial custody, ANI quoted Chinmayanand’s lawyer Manendra Singh as saying. A bail application was moved by her lawyer, which was rejected by the court as it was not maintainable. “If hearing on the bail application is taken up again, it'll be done at 1 pm,” Singh reportedly said.
The development comes a day after the student’s lawyer, Anup Trivedi said that no action has been taken and no notice has been sent to her, after reports of her being arrested started surfacing.
"We have enough evidences that Rs 5 crore extortion money was demanded from Chinmayanand. Those arrested said that they sent messages to Chinmayanand on directions of the girl in panic, as they were not getting money and were upset," SIT Chief Naveen Arora told reporters after the woman was arrested on Wednesday morning.
"A number of evidences, including pen drive and mobile, were sent for forensic examination. It was found that there was no addition, alteration, morphing, modification or editing in the video (of Chinmayanand taking a massage)," he said.
Chinmayanand Not a Member of Party, Says BJP
Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Harishchandra Srivastava told PTI that Chinmayanand is no longer a member of the party, without divulging further details.
"He is not a member of the BJP," party spokesperson Harishchandra Srivastava reportedly said.
Srivastava, however, was not forthcoming about since when Chinmayanand ceased to be the member of the BJP.
"“All our records are now digitised and so we cannot tell from when he has not been a member of the party.”" - Harishchancdra Srivastava, spokesperson, BJP
Since the controversy erupted, no BJP leader has come forward to extend any kind of support to Swami Chinmayanand, who has been in judicial custody since Friday.
Even the Akhara Parishad, the prominent body of seers, is set to take a decision on expulsion of Chinmayanand from the body at its meeting in Haridwar on 10 October.
Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP) president Narendra Giri told PTI, "In most of the cases like this, the seer is expelled from the Akhara Parishad until he is proven innocent."
How The Case Unfolded
After the 23-year-old, who studied in a law college in Shahjahanpur, accused the BJP leader of sexual harassment in a video clip, his lawyers had filed a case of extortion and threat against unidentified persons.
Chinmayanand’s lawyers had alleged that a WhatsApp message demanding Rs 5 crore was sent to Chinmayanand’s mobile phone. The message, they alleged, threatened to make some video clips viral if the amount was not paid.
The UP Police had earlier arrested three youths in this connection, and have now taken the survivor into custody as well. A local court in Shahjahanpur had rejected the bail pleas of the three youths on Monday.
Chinmayanand’s Bail Plea Rejected
An Uttar Pradesh court rejected Chinmayanand’s bail plea on Monday. He was arrested on Friday and sent to 14 days of judicial custody for alleged sexual harassment of the law student.
He has been booked under sections 354 D (stalking), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 506 (criminal intimidation), and Section 376C ( sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape) of the Indian Penal Code.
"Shahjahanpur chief judicial magistrate rejected the bail application of Chinmayanand saying that it should be moved in the sessions court." - Om Singh, Chinmayanand’s Counsel to PTI . Read more on India by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand DeathsShe’s Done No Wrong: Father of UP Student Who Accused Chinmayanand . Read more on India by The Quint.