Chinmayanand Case: ‘Rape Victim’ arrested
The alleged victim in the case of sexual abuse against BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand was arrested from Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh.
The young woman, a law student, who has accused the former Union minister of rape, was arrested because she did not hand over her mobile phone to the special investigative team (SIT) and a video showed her discussing an extortion plot against Chinmayanand with three friends, said people aware of the matter. The SIT said she has admitted to being present in the video and hence she has been arrested.
While the SIT had not been able to recover her mobile phone, they said, a video shot by a driver of a car of the purported discussion on an extortion demand among the four accused was found credible by the SIT. The driver is a key witness in the matter now. The victim has been termed as the mastermind of the extortion plot by the SIT, which says the other three accused have said they acted on her directions. Her three friends have given statements to the SIT, implicating her in the extortion matter, said the people cited earlier.
The video was allegedly shot to ensure none of the four accused go back on their word on how to share the extortion amount of Rs 5 crore. It is believed that the woman’s missing mobile phone also has key evidence in this regard.
The SIT said enough digital and forensic evidence was found against the woman. “Those (three) arrested have said they sent messages to Chinmayanand on directions of the girl in panic as they were not getting money and were upset,” SIT chief Naveen Arora said on Wednesday.
Arora, however, admitted that key pieces of evidence against Chinmayanand in the sexual abuse case were missing – for instance, the pair of spectacles with hidden camera worn by the woman have not been recovered by the SIT yet and the state forensic science laboratory could not recover data deleted by Chinmayanand on his mobile phone.
The SIT recorded the statements of the woman’s friends – Sanjay Singh, Sachin Sengar and Vikram alias Durgesh – after taking them into custody on Tuesday and planned to confront the woman with the trio. The SIT is also trying to trace the mobile phones of Singh and Sengar from which extortion messages were allegedly sent.
The woman and the three men have been booked on charges of extortion, criminal intimidation, disappearance of evidence, a criminal act done with a criminal knowledge or intention and Section 67 of Information Technology Act.