A Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed on the orders of the Supreme Court interrogated former union minister and BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand for seven hours over a female law student’s allegations that he had raped her, his counsel said on Friday (September 13).
Chinmayanand’s counsel Om Singh said that the SIT summoned Chinmayanand on Thursday (September 12). The questioning started at around 6:30 pm and went on till 1 am.
The police are yet to file a rape case against him. Taking cognisance of it, the SIT posed queries to the cops in connection with the supposed reluctance of the Uttar Pradesh police in questioning a politician of power or even filing a case against him.
The SIT also inspected Chinmayanand’s bedroom at the ashram, but had to seal the room since they couldn’t continue their examination late into the night. They are expected to continue their inspection on Friday, Om Singh said.
“We are fully cooperating with the investigation, we may have to appear again,” said Chinmayanand’s lawyer.
In a letter to the SIT on Wednesday (September 11), the woman also alleged that Chinmayanand’s supporters had got rid of some crucial evidence from her hostel room before the police sealed the room.
Apart from stating that she had been raped and “physically exploited” on numerous occasions for over a year by Chinmayanand, the postgraduate law student also claimed that he had filmed her while she was taking bath and was using the same to blackmail her.
She alleged that she had been forced to give him massages after being brought by his supporters to meet him, a few times, at gunpoint. During one such occasion, she claimed that she had recorded everything that had happened using a small camera on her spectacles to gather evidence.
She had then posted the video on Facebook to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sent a plea seeking help from Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath without naming Swami Chinmayanand as the person in the video.
However, her father came out with the truth and named Chinmayanand as the person who had sexually assaulted his daughter.
She went missing soon after this episode on August 24, and was found in Rajasthan by the police a week later on August 30. She was produced before the Supreme Court the same day, hours after she was found, for a closed hearing.
Later, an SIT was formed to investigate the case. There are speculations that the SIT had questioned her for more than 15 hours, but the claims were denied by the SIT.
(With inputs from agencies)