Women

Law Student Goes Missing After Accusing Ex-Union Minister of Sexual Harassment

Chinmayananda is also the director of the college the woman studies at.

New Delhi: A law student in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur has gone missing from her college hostel after accusing Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former Union minister Swami Chinmayanand of sexual harassment, say reports.

The woman, a student of Swami Shukdevanand Law College, had posted a video on Friday where she also said that Chinmayanand had been threatening her life and that of her family’s because she had evidence that could prove her claims. Chinmayanand is also the director of the law college.

“A big leader of the saint society, who has destroyed the lives of several girls, has been threatening my life,” the woman says in the video.

In the short video clip, she can also be seen asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath for help.

Also read: Adityanath Govt Withdraws Rape Case Against Former Minister Chinmayanand

“…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.

News18 quoted Senior Superintendent of Police S. Chinappa as having said that he had “no information” about the viral video.

The student’s father – in a written complaint – said he has been unable to trace his daughter since Saturday, reported News18.

“My daughter never told me anything personally. She looked worried when she was home on Raksha Bandhan. She has been missing for four days. I have given a written complaint against college director Swami Chinmayanand but no action has been taken yet,” he said.

“I asked her why her phone remained switched off so frequently. She said, ‘if my phone goes off for a longer duration then understand that I am in trouble. My phone will go off only when it is not in my hands.’…She told me she was being sent to Nainital by her college administration,” her mother told News 18.

Also read: Subverting the Rule of Law, Adityanath Style

Meanwhile, supporters of Chinmayanand have lodged a counter-complaint.

According to them, Chinmayanand received an anonymous call demanding Rs 5 crore from him, India Today reported.

Chinmayanand was a Union minister in the third Atal Bihari Vajpayee government (1999- 2004). During that period, he was a member of the Lok Sabha from Jaunpur constituency in Uttar Pradesh.

Last year, the Adityanath government had decided to withdraw a rape and kidnapping case filed against Chinmayanand. In that case, the FIR against him was lodged on November 30, 2011 on the basis of the complaint of a girl who had spent several years at Chinmayanand’s ashram in Haridwar.

Also read: No State for Women? Why Crimes Against Women Are Rising in UP

In a letter, the complainant had alleged that the former minister raped her and kept her in the ashram against her will. However, Chinmayanand moved the high court which stayed his arrest. The case had been pending since then.

The case was to be withdrawn under Section 321 of the Code of Criminal Procedure which allows a government lawyer to withdraw the case with the consent of the court before judgment is pronounced. The court, however, refused its consent.

This is not the first time that a BJP leader in Uttar Pradesh has been accused of crimes against women. MLA Kuldeep Sengar and his associates were accused of gang-raping a minor girl, involvement in the death of her father and subsequently an attempt on her life which killed her two aunts and injured her and her lawyer.