SHAHJAHANPUR, UP — Former Union minister and senior BJP leader Chinmayanand was arrested on Friday morning from his Mumukshu Ashram here by the Special Investigating team (SIT) probing the rape charges against him, reports IANS.
The arrest comes after the Opposition accused the state’s Yogi Adityanath government of favouring Chinmayanand and the victim threatened suicide if he was not arrested.
Confirming his arrest SIT member Bharati Singh said: “Chinmayanand’s supporters did try to prevent it, but the SIT has arrested him.”
He was later produced in the court which remanded him to 14-day judicial custody. Earlier, Chinmayanand was taken to the district hospital for medical examination following his arrest.
Chinmayanand is finally arrested on the complaint of a 23-year-old law student, who accused him of blackmail and rape in a video message posted on the social media on August 23. The very next day, the woman went missing and was later found in Dausa, Rajasthan.
Taking suo moto cognisance of the incident, the Supreme Court called the victim for a closed door hearing and later ordered the Uttar Pradesh government to set up a Special Investigating Team (SIT) to probe the allegations. The court also ordered security for the victim and her family.
However, questions were being raised on the working of the SIT since the past few days when the victim recorded her statement under Section 164 of the CrPC, but the SIT failed to arrest or question the BJP leader. Rather he was kept under house arrest at his ashram.
The girl, who studied in a college run by Chinmayanand, said in her statement that the self-proclaimed godman got a video made of her while she was taking bath in the college hostel and used it to blackmail her. She claimed that she was raped several times by Chinmayanand, who threatened to eliminate her family if she raised her voice.
The victim had lodged a complaint against the former BJP minister in Delhi alleging that the Uttar Pradesh Police had refused to file her FIR.
“The Delhi Police has registered this complaint at the Lodhi Road police station and has forwarded it to Shahjahanpur police,” she said.
(With agency inputs)