Shahjahanpur, Sep 20: Senior BJP leader and former Union minister Swami Chinmayanand, accused of raping a student, was on Friday arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case.
The 73-year-old politician was under house arrest in his ashram since September 13. The BJP leader has been accused of sexually harassing a woman student of Swami Shukdevanand Law College in Shahjahanpur. Chinmayanand is the director of the institute and was the minister of state for internal affairs in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee ministry.
An official said that he was taken for medical examination to Shahjahanpur district hospital. The development comes days after the law student, who had alleged rape recorded her statement in front of the magistrate. However, it is not yet clear what charges are levied against the former minister by the SIT.
According to information, Chinmayanand was arrested from his Mamukh ashram in Shahjahanpur and was taken to district hospital for medical check-up amidst heavy security deployment. Members of the SIT were also present on the spot. The BJP leader will now be presented before court later in the day.
Earlier, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra slammed the BJP government and the police in Uttar Pradesh over the case, saying they were repeating the "negligence" shown and "protection" given to the accused in the Unnao rape case.
"The consequences of the BJP government and police's negligence and protection to the accused in the Unnao rape case are in front of everyone," Ms Vadra said in a tweet in Hindi on Thursday.
Her allegations came a day after the student threatened to set herself on fire if the BJP leader was not arrested immediately. The student also asked if the government was waiting for her to die even after her statement was recorded before a magistrate.
Reacting to the issue, BJP Spokesperson Manish Shukla said, 'Law is equal for everyone in Yogi Adityanath Government, SIT was working and when required they arrested Swami Chinmayanand. The govt has done remarkable job on law and order front.'
A law student from Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur, has accused BJP three time BJP MP Swami Chinmayanand of raping and "physically exploiting" her for a year. The woman alleged that the former MP recorded videos of her while she was in the bath and used them to blackmail and rape her. He also shot a video of the act, she claimed.
The woman's father had handed over 43 video clips to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case. He has also demanded that Section 376, along with the provisions for destroying evidence, be evoked against the former MP as some of the evidence has been removed from the hostel room of his daughter at the BJP leader's behest.
The woman's father told reporters that Chinmayanand had raped his daughter after blackmailing her with the recorded videos. His daughter then decided to record all his acts using a hidden camera. A friend of the law student has also spoken out in her support, confirming the charges pressed against the former MP.
'She studied with me in the same college and had told me about the problems she was facing. She told me she was first given free food and other privileges in the hostel but was unaware of what was in store for her. Later, she told me that when she went for a bath, her video was recorded, which was later used to blackmail her,” the friend recalled.
The victim went missing on August 24, 2019, after posting a video on social media, appealing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for justice. She was later found in Rajasthan's Jaipur and produced before the court the same day. She refused to go back to her parents in Shahjahanpur following which the apex court directed Delhi Police to ensure her stay at All India Women's Conference (AIWC) hostel or YMCA for four days and provide her security.
Upset over delayed action against the BJP leader, the victim threatened to commit suicide if Chinmayanand was not arrested. UNI