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Law student who accused Chinmayanand of rape charged with extortion

Former Union minister Swami Chinmayanand, accused of rape by a law student, is seen outside a government hospital after a medical examination following his arrest by a special team of Uttar Pradesh police, in Shahjahanpur.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The law student from Shahjahanpur, who has accused former Union Minister Swami Chinmayanand of raping and physically exploiting her, was on Friday charged with extortion in a case filed by him, even as the SIT probing the case arrested him. 

SIT chief Naveen Arora said the former BJP MP had confessed to “almost all” the allegations made against him, barring rape. Despite the student’s complaint, Chinmayanand was not charged with rape but was arrested under Section 376 C of the IPC, which pertains to misusing authority to seduce or induce a woman to have sexual intercourse.

The complainant is a student of a college run by the former BJP MP in Shahjahanpur.

Though the police did not explicitly state that her name was included in the extortion case FIR, the student featured as the fourth name among the accused in the case — she was listed as “Miss A” — in a single-page press release issued by the SIT.

Three persons — identified as Sanjay Singh, Sachin Sengar and Vikram alias Durgesh — allegedly directly associated with her, were arrested on charges of sending extortion messages to Mr. Chinmayanand demanding ₹5 crore from him. Police said all three have confessed to making the extortion calls. 

Accepts allegations

Mr. Arora told journalists in Shahjahanpur that Mr. Chinmayanand had accepted almost all the allegations against him, including his presence in the controversial videos, receiving body massages by the law student and engaging in vulgar conversation. 

Asked if Mr. Chinmayanand had confessed to the rape charges, Mr. Arora said, “Not directly. but there are many facts that lead [to it]. And when he (Mr. Chinmayanand) said, ‘I don't have anything more to say, I am ashamed of my deeds,’ then that is more than enough,” said Mr. Arora. 

Mr. Chinmayanand was also booked for stalking the law student, criminal intimidation and wrongful confinement.

On the other hand, Mr. Arora said, the SIT had “prima facie” found the “involvement” of the law student in the extortion case. While observing that investigation in the matter is still on, the senior officer said further action would be taken after the recovery of the mobile phones of the law student and her friend Sanjay Singh, who is the key accused in the extortion case, and more video footage. 

Mr. Arora said the law student and Sanjay Singh had made 4,200 phone calls to each other over the past year, as per the call detail records. During the same period, the law student and Mr. Chinmayanand made over 200 phone calls to each other, the officer added.

Phone data analysis

Since Mr. Chinmayanand had deleted some data from his mobile phone, which contained “important evidence yet to be traced,” it was sent to an FSL for data extraction to establish further linkages, Mr. Arora said. 

The law student expressed disappointment with the SIT for not booking Mr. Chinmayanand under rape charges. 

“In my [CrPC] 164 statement, I had told them I was raped and how it happened and everything. Despite that Chinmayanand was not booked under [Section] 376 (rape),” she said. “What I had feared has happened,” the 23-year-old LLM student added. 

Refuting the charges of extortion against her, the complainant said, “this new angle was brought up to weaken my case against Chinmayanand.”

“I have nothing to do with this case of extortion from the start till date,” she said.

Mr. Chinmayanand was picked up from his ashram by the SIT on Friday morning at 8:50 a.m., his counsel Puja Singh said. After a medical examination, he was produced before a local court and sent to a 14-days judicial remand. 

Ms. Singh alleged that she was not allowed to meet her client, who she said was in a “critical” condition after days of illness. “He was under the observation of doctors even at home,” she claimed.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2020 1:08:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/law-student-who-accused-chinmayanand-of-rape-involved-in-extortion-sit/article29469950.ece

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