By Sanjeev Kumar Singh Chauhan & Amita Verma
Shahjahanpur (Uttar Pradesh), Sep 20 (IANS) Former Union minister and senior BJP leader Chinmayanand was arrested on Friday morning from his Mumukshu Ashram here by the Special Investigating team (SIT) probing the rape charges against him.
Confirming his arrest SIT member Bharati Singh said: "Chinmayanand's supporters did try to prevent it, but the SIT has arrested him." He was taken to the district hospital for medical examination, and will later be produced before the court, where the SIT, led by UP Police Inspector General Naveen Arora, is expected to seek his remand.
Chinmayanand's arrest comes on the complaint of a 23-year-old law student, who accused him of blackmail and rape in a video message posted on the social media on August 23.
The very next day, the woman went missing and was later found in Dausa, Rajasthan.
Taking suo moto cognisance of the incident, the Supreme Court called the victim for a closed door hearing and later ordered the Uttar Pradesh government to set up a Special Investigating Team (SIT) to probe the allegations. The court also ordered security for the victim and her family.
However, questions were being raised on the working of the SIT since the past few days when the victim recorded her statement under Section 164 of the CrPC, but the SIT failed to arrest or question the BJP leader. Rather he was kept under house arrest at his ashram.
Earlier this week, Chinmayanand complained of 'uneasiness' and 'weakness', and was shifted to a hospital. On Thursday night, doctors advised shifting him to Lucknow for treatment.
With the SIT apparently delaying action, the Opposition accused the state's Yogi Adityanath government of favouring Chinmayanand and the victim threatened suicide if he was not arrested.
The girl, who studied in a college run by Chinmayanand, said in her statement that the self-proclaimed god man got a video made of her while she was taking bath in the college hostel and used it to blackmail her. She claimed that she was raped several times by Chinmayanand, who threatened to eliminate her family if she raised her voice.
The woman bought spectacles fitted with a secret camera and made recording of their intimate moments, including one where he was getting a massage in a state of undress.
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