A 23 year old law student who went missing from her hostel in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh (UP) was found in Jaipur, Rajasthan on August 30, Friday and produced before the Supreme Court on the same day. The girl found in Rajasthan was missing since 6 days and finally got traced. Ex-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Home Minister for the state was accused by the girl’s father of kidnapping and sexually harassing her.
The girl, an LLM student, told the Supreme Court (SC) that she left Shahjahanpur to protect herself. Her statement was, however, taken in the chambers of the bench consisting of Justices Banumathi and R S Bopanna. The bench, in a special sitting on Friday night after interacting with the girl; referring to her as Ms. A, said, “We have spoken to the girl, she was responsive to the questions. She was able to understand in English, answered most questions in hindi. She left Shahjahanpur with her three college mates who were also her family friends to protect herself.”
The bench also mentioned that the girl wished to stay in Delhi and meet her parents (from UP) there. The girl told the bench that she will decide on the future course of action only after meeting her parents. Taking the note of her wish, the SC, directed the registry to make arrangements for her to stay at All India Women’s Conference for 4 days. Delhi Police have also been instructed to arrange for her parents to meet her comfortably.
Notably, no one, excluding her lawyers should meet or interact with her before she meets her parents, the Court added. Meanwhile, the Court will continue with the matter on September 2, Monday.
The girl went missing on August 24, Saturday after posting a video on Facebook alleging that a “big leader of the Sant Samaj” had “destroyed the lives of many other girls and also has threatened to kill me”. She requested the UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help her.
The visibly terrified girl said in her video, “Modiji please, please meri help kariye aap (Modiji please, please help me). That sanyasi has the police and the DM (District Magistrate) in his pocket. He threatens everyone and says no one can help me. I have a lot of evidence against him. I request you to get me justice.” She posted this video on Saturday which was widely circulated on the social media and based on this video, her father made the allegations that Chinmayanand had kidnapped her.
The irony of the state administration is that the police filed the complaint only on August 27, Tuesday, three days after she went missing, and charged Chinmayanand with kidnapping and criminal intimidation, news agencies reported. The former Member of Parliament (MP), however, was not questioned. His lawyer asserted that the allegations were false and an attempt to extort the politician.
According to the police, the girl was found with a friend. They also informed that the two had withdrawn Rs. 1500 from an ATM in Jaipur on Friday. The money was withdrawn from the card owned by her friend, who was accompanying the girl. However, the college authorities have claimed that the student has been absent since the beginning of the third semester on August 5, Monday.
Moreover, the girl’s mother told one of the news channels that the last time she came home, on Raksha Bandhan, she had told her parents that they should realise that there was something wrong if her phone was switched off for a long time. The girl replied this because her parents were constantly asking her about the reason for her phone to be switched off.
The mother of the girl said, “My girl was going through a lot of pain and trouble but didn’t divulge much. She told me she was being sent to Nainital by her college administration,” to a news channel.
Who is Chinmayanand?
72 year old Swami Chinmayanand is a former union minister state for Internal Affairs (Home Ministry), UP in third Attal Bihari Vajpayee Ministry. He was elected to 13th Lok Sabha from Jaunpur in UP as a BJP candidate in 1999. He was member of 10th Lok Sabha from Badaun in 1991 and from Machhlishahr in 1998. He has a huge Ashram in Shahjahanpur and runs five colleges in the town. He also has his Ashrams in pilgrim places like Haridwar and Rishikesh. His empire is believed to worth crores though there is no official estimate.
Notably, this is not the first time that the former minister is facing sexual misconduct allegations. In 2011, a girl who had spent several years at his ashram filed a complaint of abduction and rape against him. In April 2018, the UP Government withdrew the case. Chinmayanand, however, has been in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar, refusing to answer questions posed by journalists.
Chinmayanand’s lawyer, dismissing all the allegations said, “It is entirely a conspiracy to blackmail Swami ji and become a crorepati using shortcuts. When the idea did not work, then an effort was made to tarnish his image as vendetta.” A counter case has been filed by Chinmayanand’s team alleging an extortion attempt to the tune of Rs. 5 crore.
When Ajanta News tried reaching the UP state BJP leadership, the calls went unanswered for some, while some tried escaping from commenting. We will definitely update this post once we find who the BJP finds accountable for the lawless situation in the state.
(With inputs from News Agency)