New sleaze videos in Chinmayanand case make matters murkier

Swami, Shahjanpur, law student, rape charges, videos
A Shahjahanpur woman law student had gone missing after accusing former Union minister and BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand of harassment, and was later found in Rajasthan. File Photo: PTI.

New videos resurfacing every day in the curious case of the 23-year-old law student of Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh, involving BJP’s former Union minister, Swami Chinmayanand, is making the case murkier and curious with every passing day.

While the trouble does not seem to be ending for Swami Chinmayanand, a friend of the law student recently handed over a pen drive containing ‘evidence’ to the Special Investigating Team (SIT) of Uttar Pradesh. The video shows a nude Chinmayanand getting a massage from the woman. The total footage is 17 GB and prima facie, seems to be unedited or doctored. The spy cam recordings of the massage sessions, seem to have been done on different days. The lawyers of Swami Chinmayanand claim that the videos are fake and doctored.

But the story does not end here. Another video of the woman, her friends and two other people, shot inside a car somewhere in Delhi, adds another dimension to the story – of blackmail. In the video, a youth is seen shouting at the woman and her friend. “Why did you demand ₹5 crore from the man who is so powerful. Did you think he will give it? You have landed yourself and me in deep trouble,” the youth says.

Now, the video, which is in possession of UP’s SIT will be sent to forensic laboratory for further authentication. All SIT officials, however, are tight-lipped about the findings of the investigations so far. The SIT in deference to Supreme Court orders, will submit its investigation report through an affidavit. The Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court has constituted a bench comprising Justice Manoj Mishra and Justice Manjurani Chauhan and the SIT will submit its report on September 23. On the same day, the family of the woman will also submit their report regarding the security cover provided to them.

The case hit the headlines on August 24 when the woman, a LLM student in SS Law College of Shahjahanpur went missing. The college is owned by Swami Chinmayanand. In the self-recorded video uploaded on her Facebook page, the law student accused a top leader of “ruining the lives of several girls”, including hers, and also “threatening her and her family”. The girl said she has all the evidence against this person and appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to help her as the ‘sanyasi’ (sage) was threatening her, saying he had “the police and the district magistrate on his side”.

Chinmayanand has been a Lok Sabha member from Jaunpur in 1999, Badaun in 1991 and from Machhlishahar in 1988 — all on a BJP ticket. He is the president of the Swami Shukdevanand Law College, whose website says that it is affiliated to Rohilkhand University of Bareilly and the Bar Council of India.

On August 25, the father of the girl had complained to the local police that his daughter is missing, her cell phone is switched off and her hostel room is locked and that no one from the college was telling the family anything. He had alleged that Swami Chinmayanand and his henchmen had been threatening their daughter and the family. He has appealed to the police to seal the hostel room where his daughter had been staying in the presence of media so that evidence is not destroyed.

Later, the girl was found by the state cops from Rajasthan and while she was being taken back to Uttar Pradesh. Acting on the appeal of a group of lawyers, the apex court ordered protection to the woman who did not wish to return home as she was feeling threatened. Now witnessing new dimensions, with new videos surfacing now and then, the case seems to get murkier by every passing day.

(The writer is a senior journalist)