SIT quizzes Chinmayanand for seven hours, searches home

 thehindu.com  09/13/2019 21:05:45  2

The Special Investigation Team probing a students rape allegation against BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand questioned him for seven hours and sealed the bedroom at his home here, sources said on Friday.

The SIT, formed on the orders of the Supreme Court, also brought the college student to the former Union Ministers home on Friday morning, continuing the search for evidence in her presence.

Mr. Chinmayanand, whose organisation runs several colleges, was questioned for about seven hours at the police lines here on Thursday night.

SIT members and a forensic team also spent six hours at his Divya Dham residence, where the bedroom was later sealed.

Sources said the BJP leader has been asked by SIT not to leave Shahjahanpur till the completion of the probe, and policemen have been deployed in and around his home.

College closed

The college where the woman studied was closed on Friday, with the administration announcing a holiday and pasting a notice on the gates.

The post-graduate student has alleged that she was raped and physically exploited for a year by the BJP leader. Mr. Chinmayanands lawyer has, however, alleged an extortion attempt.

The woman first levelled harassment charges against the BJP leader in a video clip uploaded on social media. She was then missing for several days before a Uttar Pradesh police team traced her in Rajasthan and produced her before the Supreme Court.

The womans classmate, who was with her when the police found her, on Friday said she had told him and others about the harassment.

According to him, Mr. Chinmayanand told her to move into a hostel room after she got a college job as she would get late in reaching home.

She said a video was made of her having a bath, after which she was blackmailed and her physical exploitation started, the classmate told reporters.

Evidence removed

The students father has alleged that Mr. Chinmayanands supporters have removed from her room a pair of spectacles with a camera fitted in them, suggesting that this contained evidence against the BJP leader.

In a letter to SIT on Wednesday, the woman also alleged that some vital evidence was removed from the hostel room before it was sealed by the police.

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