The Supreme Court has decided to take up the case of the Uttar Pradesh post-graduate law student from Shahjahanpur who went missing after accusing BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand Saraswati of threats and harassment. The case, taken up by a bench led by Justice R Banumathi on the court’s motion, will be heard on Friday (August 29).
The mystery surrounding the sudden disappearance of the student continued on the sixth day as her family awaited any concrete information about her.
The woman, who was a student at a college run by Chinmayanand’s trust, has been missing since August 24, a day after she posted a video on social media, alleging that the former minister was threatening to kill her.
The politician had faced similar accusations in 2011 and was booked for raping a woman who stayed at his ashram.
The state police claimed that the missing student was spotted at a Delhi hotel on Wednesday but she had left the place before the police reached there.
On Thursday, Kotwali police station in-charge Pravesh Singh said that the women’s hostel room in Shahjahanpur was sealed to avoid trespassing and evidence tampering. Her mother had visited the hostel on August 24 after the news of her daughter’s disappearance spread, but had found her room locked.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Women Commission chairperson Vimla Batham has talked to the “family members of the kidnapped girl and assured them justice by ensuring unbiased probe and her recovery,” the Commission said in an official statement.
The principal of the college the woman studied at said that she had not attended even a single class since it started on August 5. He added that the woman had started working at a library after college hours last year.
In the video, the student had alleged she has “evidence” that the 72-year-old BJP leader, who was a minister of state in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, had harassed and even threatened to kill her.
Her father had later filed a written complaint, accusing Chinmayanand of sexually harassing his daughter. But the politician’s lawyer Om Singh denied the charges and claimed that his client was being blackmailed. He said that the three-time Lok Sabha member had received a message on WhatsApp on August 23, the day the video surfaced, demanding ₹5 crore ransom.
The student’s mother has said that she talked to Chinmayanand over phone after visiting her hostel and he told her he was in Haridwar. The same day, her father said, the family received a call from their daughter and she told her mother she was fine.
Her father said that he called back on the phone number and was told it was the reception of a hotel in Mahipalpur in Delhi. But, the UP police contradicted this saying that she was spotted in a hotel in Delhi’s Dwarka on Wednesday, and she was seen accompanying a man in a CCTV footage.
Shahjahanpur police said that Chinmayanand has been booked on charges related to abduction for murder and criminal intimidation.
(With inputs from agencies)