A 23-year-old student at a law college had alleged that BJP leader Chinmayanand sexually assaulted her for a year after helping her with admission into his college
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s Chinmayanand, accused of rape by a law student, was finally arrested on Friday, five days after the survivor elaborated the incident of sexual assist that she faxed for over a year. In the period she also faced blackmail. She submitted the incident before a court. It's been close to a month after the allegations first surfaced. Just two day before, the survivor accused the Uttar Pradesh government for their lax attitude towards the accused and had asked, “Will they believe me if I kill myself?”
Chinmayanand has been charged with "misusing authority for sexual intercourse" or "sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape", according to his lawyer. The police are yet to confirm this charge, which carries a punishment of up to five years in jail and a fine.
Before his arrest from his Mumuksha Ashram, the politician who is 73 now, was taken in a senior police officer's car to a hospital in Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh around 5.30 am. He had been hospitalised yesterday after he complained of "uneasiness and weakness". Some reports emerging from the ground, however, have asserted that this was in an attempt to prevent his arrest.
The survivor had been trying to file a rape complaint for almost a month but the UP police refused to do so. Once arrested, apparently, he has been not charged with rape still. The only charges the police did file was that of kidnapping and intimidation, which the woman's family had alleged after she went missing.
He was finally arrested a day after UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, at a press conference on his government's half-way mark, claimed that women's safety was a priority for him and crime had dropped since he came to power at the head of a BJP government.
The 23-year-old woman, a student at a law college that Chinmayanand runs, on Monday went to a court protected by over 50 police personnel and recorded her statement in the court of the chief judicial magistrate.
But a Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) refused to file rape charges or arrest him. "There will be no arrest unless there is solid evidence. We will not be pressured by media trial," a senior officer said at a press conference on Wednesday.
The survivor has alleged that Chinmayanand sexually exploited 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 for a year by the politician. She was allegedly brought to his room at gunpoint and was even forced to give Chinmayanand massages.
The survivor reportedly has said that 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 found her after a week, the Supreme Court heard her allegations and ordered an SIT to inquire into them. The team questioned the woman, visited her hostel room and later questioned Chinmayanand for seven hours last week.
Chinmayanand was a union minister for home in former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's government.