New Delhi: Acting under the Supreme Court’s order, the Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday constituted a Special Investigation Team to probe charges levelled by a Shahjahanpur woman against former Union minister and BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand.
The SIT, to be headed by an IG-rank police officer, will look into the two cross FIRs filed in the high-profile case.
A statement issued by the UP home department said, “A decision has been taken by UP Chief Secretary RK Tiwari to constitute an SIT, which would be headed by an IG (Public Grievance) Naveen Arora.”
Directions have also been issued by the state government to include policemen with a “clean image” in the probe panel. “This SIT will ensure an impartial investigation into the two cross FIRs filed in the Shahjahanpur case and also probe the allegations levelled,” the statement said.
Instructions have been issued to the divisional commissioner (Bareilly) and the vice-chancellor of the Mahatma Jyotibha Phule Ruhelkhand University, Bareilly, to admit the law student and her brother at the university or any other affiliated college.
Directions have also been issued to the superintendent of police, Shahjahanpur to provide adequate security to the law student, her parents and other members of her family, it said.
The move by the UP government comes a day after the Supreme Court directed it to set up an SIT, headed by an IG-rank officer, to investigate the charges levelled by the woman. The apex court had said that an Allahabad high court bench will monitor the probe.
The law student had gone missing after levelling allegations against Chinmayanand in a video and was later found in Rajasthan by UP police.
The apex court judges said the woman had raised certain grievances against the institution where she studied and her mother and father had some apprehensions about the safety of their children.
The top court said the Delhi police will accompany her parents to their residence in Shahjahanpur and the woman will continue her stay in the national capital till September 12.
The matter was listed for further hearing on September 5.
The apex court had taken suo motu cognisance of the case after a group of lawyers had written a letter to the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi urging him to take up the matter.
The Shahjahanpur police had on August 27 lodged an FIR against Chinmayanand after the student went missing following her allegation in a video clip that he had been harassing her. She also spoke about threat to her and her family’s life in the video clip.
Her father had filed a complaint with police accusing Chinmayanand of sexually harassing her, a charge refuted by the BJP leader’s lawyer who claimed it was a “conspiracy” to blackmail him.
The woman’s father had alleged that she went missing at the behest of the 72-year-old BJP leader, who heads Mumukshu ashram. She is a post-graduate student in one of the colleges run by the ashram.
Meanwhile, a local police team which had gone to former Union minister’s Haridwar ashram to question him in connection with the harassment allegations did not find him there.
“A team had gone to Haridwar to probe the charges…. It has returned on Monday as Chinmayanand was not found in his ashram there,” superintendent of police Dinesh Tripathi said.
The father of the woman told PTI over the phone from Delhi that when they reached the national capital to meet their daughter, she appeared “frightened” and broke down after meeting her mother.
“We have assured her that the administration and court are with us and no one could harm us. She said that she wanted to return home but due to fear left for Rajasthan. She has all the proof against Chinmayanand and she has kept them in a safe place,” he said.
(With PTI inputs)