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Chinmayanand grilled for seven hours, room sealed

PTI | Lucknow | Updated: 13-09-2019 20:12 IST | Created: 13-09-2019 20:12 IST
Chinmayanand grilled for seven hours, room sealed

The special investigation team probing a student's 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 minister’s home on Friday morning, continuing the search for evidence in her presence.

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 the SIT not to leave Shahjahanpur till the completion of the probe, and policemen have been deployed in and around his home. The college where the woman studied was closed Friday, with the administration announcing a holiday and pasting a notice on the gates.

The postgraduate student has alleged that she was raped and "physically exploited" for a year by the BJP leader. Chinmayanand’s 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 an Uttar Pradesh police team traced her in Rajasthan and produced her before the Supreme Court.

The woman’s 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, 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. The friend also referred to some video clips on social media that allegedly show Chinmayanand, in one case being massaged by a woman.

The BJP leader's counsel has said the clip is a fake. But the woman’s friend said a through inquiry will prove that it is genuine. The student’s father has alleged that Chinmayanand’s 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 the SIT on Wednesday, the woman also alleged that some vital evidence was removed from the hostel room before it was sealed by the police. She claimed Chinmayanand’s supporters also planted some things there to tarnish her image.

The two principals who head colleges where the woman has studied were questioned by the SIT on Thursday. The SIT has earlier quizzed the leader's lawyer, Om Singh, for over five hours in connection with allegations that the woman had demanded Rs 5 crore from Chinmayanand.

The woman has also been taken to a local hospital for a medical examination by a panel of doctors. PTI CORR SAB ABN DV ASH



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