Lucknow: The law student who had gone missing after releasing a video alleging that Bharatiya Janata Party leader ‘Swami’ Chinmayanand had sexually harassed her and was threatening to kill her has been located in Rajasthan, said Uttar Pradesh police on Friday. The Supreme Court has asked the Uttar Pradesh government to produce the woman before it in camera on Friday itself.
शाहजहाँपुर प्रकरण में यूपी पुलिस ने लड़की को उसके एक मित्र के साथ राजस्थान से बरामद किया |पुलिस के द्वारा अग्रिम वैधानिक कार्यवाही की जा रही है
— UP POLICE (@Uppolice) August 30, 2019
“In the Shahjahanpur episode, the girl has been located by Shahjahanpur police in Rajasthan along with her friend. Necessary legal action is being taken,” read the police tweet.
The woman was found on Friday morning and is fine, state police chief O.P. Singh told reporters in Lucknow. She is being brought to Shahjahanpur, the DGP said, adding that police teams had been working on the case for the “past few days”.
Police has offered no clarity on whether the woman had attempted to put distance between herself and Chinmayanand or whether the latter played any role in her temporary disappearance. Nor did police say where in Rajasthan she was found and under what circumstances.
Meanwhile, reports said that in response to a plea by a group of lawyers for the apex court to take suo motu cognisance of the missing woman, a Supreme Court bench of Justice R. Banumathi asked counsel appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government to give exact details in “five minutes” on her whereabouts. The court then directed the Registrar Judicial to facilitate her production in camera, reported Bar and Bench.
Supreme Court: A Bench headed by Justice R Banumathi also asks Uttar Pradesh police to also inform when she can be produced here. https://t.co/13LU7koH7J
— ANI (@ANI) August 30, 2019
The woman, a student of Swami Shukdevanand Law College in Shahjahanpur, of which Chinmayanand is a director, had been missing since Saturday, a day after she posted her viral video on the former Union minister.
She did not name Chinmayanand in the video, but referred to “a senior leader of the sant community”. In the video she requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath to take action in ensuring justice.
“A big leader of the sant society, who has destroyed the lives of several girls, has been threatening my life. I request Modi ji and Yogi ji to please help me. He has even threatened to kill my family. Only I know what I have been going through…Modi ji please help me, he is a sanyasi and is threatening that the police, DM and everyone else is on his side and no one can harm him. I request you all for justice,” she said in the video.
Subsequently, her father filed an abduction complaint with the police against Chinmayanand.
“She called on August 24 from some number unknown to us in Delhi and was extremely hassled. We could not even speak to her properly as she cut the phone within seconds,” the woman’s father had told The Wire.
The police had on Wednesday released missing posters of her. The woman’s father had told this website that the abduction complaint had been registered by police only after the case had widely been reported.
The politician, who faced similar accusations in 2011 and was booked for raping a woman who stayed at his ashram, disputed the charge. Last year, the Adityanath government had decided to withdraw the rape and kidnapping case filed against him but could not, as the court had refused permission to do so.
(With PTI inputs)