Law student looks to Supreme Court
The law student who has accused BJP leader Chinmayanand of raping her for over a year said on Saturday she would bring to the Supreme Court’s notice that the special investigation team had ignored the evidence she had submitted against the arrested politician.
The 23-year-old also alleged that the court-appointed SIT had softened the case against the former Union minister because he happened to be a “big politician” of the ruling party.
“The Supreme Court had given me protection when I was running from place to place to save myself from Chinmayanand. I will soon return to the court to express my doubts about the intention of the investigators, who have not booked him for rape (under the penal code’s Section 376),” she told reporters in Shahjahanpur.
Chinmayanand, arrested on Friday and remanded in judicial custody for 14 days, faces charges under penal code sections 354 (assault on a woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 376c (sexual exploitation from a position of authority) but the SIT stopped short of booking him for rape.
The maximum punishment under Section 376c is five years in jail whereas Section 376 has a provision even for life imprisonment.
The SIT has also arrested three young men for allegedly blackmailing the monk with purported sex videos, while the complainant herself “is under investigation” in connection with the blackmail allegation.
On Saturday morning, over a dozen policemen were deployed at the woman’s residence in Shahjahanpur, apart from the four constables who have been guarding her since the last week of August.
That has led to fears that the SIT might arrest her in the extortion case that Chinmayanand had filed on August 22, alleging that he had received a WhatsApp message that threatened to circulate videos showing him in obscene acts if he didn’t pay Rs 5 crore.
SIT chief Naveen Arora had said on Friday morning that while the victim’s role was under investigation, her name had not been included in the case in which her three friends — Sanjay Singh, Sachin Sengar and Vikram Singh — have been arrested. But it emerged late in the night that her name had been included.
The SIT chief had also said that Chinmayanand had “admitted to almost every allegation levelled against him by the victim”.
The woman’s father expressed his disappointment with the SIT. “We have not yet got a copy of the FIR but have come to know that the SIT last night mentioned in its report my daughter’s presence with the three youths in a car and then in a restaurant, hatching a conspiracy to extort money from Chinmayanand. All I can say at this stage is that we didn’t know the intention of the three youths behind helping my daughter,” he told reporters on Saturday.
“What is most disappointing is that the SIT is working under pressure of the governments and trying to save the former minister of state for home. We have submitted evidence with the SIT to substantiate the claim of rape. But they have booked him under milder sections.”
Chinmayanand is believed to be close to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav.
“The SIT’s action against Chinmayanand is mere eyewash. They are weakening the case to let him off soon,” the father added. “We are disappointed with those who are supposed to protect us and ensure justice.”
SIT chief Arora had earlier said: “We don’t need to take certificates from anybody as we are working on the direction of the Supreme Court and preparing to submit our report to Allahabad High Court on September 23. We are not leaving any missing link in both the cases….”