72-year-old Chinmayanand belongs to Shahjahanpur. On 20 September, he is arrested under section 376C. Charge of sexual exploitation comes under this section. Why Chinmayanand is not arrested under rape charge?
Popularly known as Swami Chinmayanand. He has been the State Home Minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government. And also the member of Parliament in many Lok Sabha. In Shahjahanpur, Swami Shukdevanand Post Graduate College is being looked after by him. A law college also operates under this college.
The 23-year-old student studying in this college becomes a victim of Chinmayanand. She alleged that Chinmayananda secretly made a video of her while taking a bath. He used to blackmail her for leaking her video and for that he raped her several times.
The victim gave a 12-page complaint letter against Chinmayanand.
With reference to this letter, many layers of Chinmayanand case comes into existence.
Once, Chinmayanand called the girl to his Mumukshu Ashram, present in Shahjahanpur. She told that Chinmayananda showed her a video clip. In which she was taking a bath in the hostel bathroom. Chinmayanand threatened her that he will make it viral. Under the influence of this threat, Chinmayananda raped the girl for the first time.
He also made a video of this rape and blackmailed her for this too. After all this, the process of sexual exploitation started. He pressurized her to massage him. She has alleged that she was called from her hostel to the ashram several times so that she would massage Chinmayanand. On her refusal, Chinmayanand’s fellows threaten her at gunpoint.
Bravely, she took the action to expose Chinmayanand
All this continued till July 2019. At this time, she made a video of Chinmayanand’ massage with a hidden camera. In August, she ran away from college and hide by the fear of Chinmayanand. On 24 August she put a video on Facebook with hope for justice. And also exposed Chinmayanand on social media.
An afraid father of missing daughter speaks out. He alleges Chinmayanand that along with his daughter he has made many more women victim.
What UP Police was supposed to do and what they were doing?
On the urge of Chinmayanand’s lawyer Om Singh, Shahjahanpur police filed a case against unknown people. The case for threatening, extorting money and IT Act. UP Police had not filed any case yet on the victim’s complaint against Chinmayanand.
The victim’s father accused the police of being pressurized to withdraw his complaint against Chinmayanand. He also asked the police to file a complaint against Chinmayanand about the disappearance of his daughter.
Police filed a case against Chinmayananda under sections 364 (ie kidnapping with intent to kill) and 506 (ie to force) on 27 August. No rape charge was filed. Even police never called Chinmayananda for any investigation or questioning. Till that, the initial investigation, in this case, could not be started.
How a group of Women lawyers played a major role in exposing Chinmayanad that’s finally ended at arrest of him by SIT
Above all, a group of women lawyers wrote a letter to Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. They urged that he take cognizance of this matter. It was written in the letter that all our lawyers are concerned about the student in this case. Referring to the Unnao rape case involving BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar. The lawyers said that as a society we cannot allow another Unnao case to happen.
Read that part of the letter:
“Your lordships, we the undersigned members of the legal fraternity and practicing lawyers of this court are extremely disturbed. And concerned about the wellbeing of the girl concerned. We as a society cannot allow another ‘Unnao case’ to happen. This court has been interfering in letter petitions when it comes to the protection of human rights.”
After this, the team of Justices R. Banumathi and AS Bopanna fixed the day for August 30 to hear the matter. In the hearing, the court appealed, firstly bring the victim before the court. The next day the UP police presented the victim in the court. Police brought her from Rajasthan.
Court-ordered UP Police to form SIT to investigate this case
Then the UP Police was ordered to form SIT (Special Investigation Team), headed by an officer of IG rank. The court also ordered the Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court to keep an eye on the investigation of this case. Additional Solicitor General ordered Vikramjit Banerjee to ensure that the victim gets admission in another college.
How SIT worked before arresting Chinmayanand
UP government formed the SIT and the investigation of the case started. The SIT started questioning in this matter from 8 September.
SIT interrogated Victim and her family
The victim and her family were interrogated for 11 hours for the first day. Her family includes her mother, father, and brother. The SIT then interrogated the victim on five more dates. Till that, no FIR filed against Chinmayanand under the charges of rape.
The victim revealed the evidence location
On September 9, in a press conference, the victim pleased in front of journalists. She asked them to help her in filing a rape case against Chinmayanand. The victim claimed that all the evidence are present in her hostel room. Police should investigate.
SIT interrogated Chinmayanand and other important people involved in the case
SIT interrogated Chinmayananda for 8 hours on the first day i.e on 12 September. Chinmayanand’s lawyer Om Singh said that the SIT interrogated Chinmayananda on three dates in total.
Apart from this, SIT also questioned –
- PG College Principal Avnish Mishra
- Law College Principal Sanjay Barnwal
- Commerce Department Head Anurag Aggarwal
SIT got 23 videos as evidence in a Pendrive
Next day, the SIT went to the victim’s hostel room. Many other things gathered from there as evidence.
The student handed over a pen drive to the SIT. There were 43 videos in this pen drive. Although, it is alleged that all these videos are related to sexual exploitation done by Chinmayanand. Some of these videos leaked by sharing on social media. But are enough to prove Chinmayanand should be arrested under rape charge.
A Penned Statement of the victim recorded in front of Magistrate
After the next day of getting that Pendrive, victim’s statement was recorded in front of the magistrate in Shahjahanpur. Because according to the law, the statement of any rape victim is recorded in front of the magistrate. It is also named as a penned statement.
Till that, no rape case was filed against Chinmayanand
The victim threatened if Chinmayanand is not arrested by SIT under rape charge. Then she will kill herself by setting herself on fire. This statement came on 18 September.
Meanwhile, news came about Chinmayananda that he fell ill. Videos and pictures came, Chinmayananda was conducting ECG.
Chinmayanand arrested under the charge of exploitation on 20 September
However, SIT filed a case of rape against Chinmayanand on 20 September and on the other hand, Chinmayanand reached his Mumukshu Ashram from Hospital. And SIT arrested him the same day.
Chinmayanand was lying from the day one
Chinmayanand gave the first statement in this case and claimed himself innocent. Not only this, but he also accused Kuldeep Singh Sengar, the main accused in the Unnao rape case, as innocent.
“Just like Kuldeep Sengar was implicated, a conspiracy is being done to trap me likewise.”
Chinmayanand confesses charges against him are true and is guilty on himself
Above all, Chinmayanand’s lawyer has also told the media that his client Chinmayanand is innocent. But now Chinmayanand has accepted that the person appearing in all these videos is the same.
Although, after the arrest, IG Naveen Arora, who is heading the SIT. He informed that Chinmayanand has admitted that the person seen in the video is he himself. He has also accepted, he got massaged this way as shown in videos. And was ashamed of himself. Thus, Chinmayanand is arrested under exploitation charge, not the rape charge. According to the SIT, Chinmayananda’s wording is,
“अब आपने सब देख ही लिया है तो आपसे क्या छिपाना| बस इतना ही कहना चाहूंगा कि अपने किए पर शर्मिन्दा हूं.”
“You have seen everything, now what to hide from you. I would just like to say that I am ashamed of my actions. “
SIT is still investigating for the allegation of rape against Chinmayanand as they haven’t found any evidence for the rape charge. However, videos clearly prove that sexual exploitation is done by Chinmayanand that’s why they arrested him under section 376C. Or, it can be like that SIT is still trying to save Chinmayanand that’s why not arrested him under rape charge.
SIT is considering victim as a suspect for seeking ransom from Chinmayanand
Apart from Chinmayanand, the police have arrested three more people for threatening and demanding ransom. These three persons are Sanjay Singh, Vikram, and Sachin. However, SIT opens up with the fact that the phone calls made to Chinmayananda seeking ransom and the location of these three accused were one.
These three persons are the cousins of the victim. They had asked Chinmayanand to give money by threatening to make the video viral. The amount of ransom was 5 crores. The SIT has said that these three persons also kept talking to the victim. Because of this, the SIT suspects that the victim is also involved in the conspiracy of intimidation. After necessary deliberation, SIT can also arrest the victim.
The SIT is going to submit a status report of the matter to the Allahabad High Court on 23 September. The SIT directly filed a case against Chinmayanand under Section 376C not under Section 376 of the IPC. 376C is not a section of the rape charge, rather it is related to exploitation. A maximum of 6 years of imprisonment can be imposed under this section, which can be extended up to 10 years. Under this section, the accused may also have to pay some fine.