THE 23-year-old woman who has accused Swami Chinmayanand of raping and sexually harassing her for over a year says she has at least 35 incriminating videos of the former BJP MP. Speaking to The Sunday Express, the woman said it is with these videos that she hoped to get justice.
The woman said she wore spectacles with a hidden camera whenever she was called to Chinmayanand’s residence on her college campus to give him a “massage”. Chinmayanand is the chairman of the college where she is a second-year Masters student in law. “After searching through pens, bracelets and pendants on the Internet with hidden cameras, I decided to go in for the spectacles. I was not allowed to take in mobile phones, and I thought if I wore the spectacles no one would suspect anything.”
Recently, the woman claimed that the spectacles had been stolen from her wallet inside her hostel room. Her father said on Saturday that she had stored the evidence at other places and that they had handed over more than 30 video clips to police.
The 23-year-old said Chinmayanand and his men kept constant watch on her and would not allow her to mingle with other students, and that apart from her, an undergraduate law student and a male teacher would also be routinely called to the ex-MP’s residence to give him “maalish”.
She told The Sunday Express that while she did her Bachelors in Law from the college, “before 2018, I did not know much about who Chinmayanand was”. “Then I decided to enrol for LLM. As the deadline to pay the fees was almost over, the principal said I should meet the Chairman, who might be able to help me.”
She said she was ensured a seat but also started getting calls asking her to join work at the college library. “I refused initially but I was told it would be good for me as well as the college as it was hard to find staff for the library.” Gradually, she said, her work started spilling over to late hours, and she was advised to move into the hostel.
The college principal has denied this, saying it was the woman who had requested for both the library job and the hostel accommodation.
The woman claimed that she realised later that the hostel did not have a warden. “It was there that the first video of mine was made, I do not know how, while I was taking a bath, in October last year. I was then blackmailed to visit Chinmayanand at his residence, where I was raped and another video of mine was made. With a threat to make these videos public, I was harassed for about a year till I decided that I had had enough.”
She added, “There would be men standing outside my room to take me and the entire college knew what was happening. No one would dare talk to me. I could not gather the courage to speak up. But then I decided to do something and that is when I started looking for hidden cameras.” They had used hidden videos to “destroy” her, she said, and she decided she would use hidden videos too.
She said she bought the spectacles online earlier this year, and that both the glasses as well as a chip with some of the videos were now gone from her hostel room. The SIT, which took her to the room as part of its investigations on September 13, has sought proof of the purchase of the spectacles, and she said she would soon provide it.
It was when she thought she had enough evidence that she decided to run away, she said. After she went missing and her video accusing Chinmayanand of harassment became viral on August 23, her father filed a complaint with police alleging that his daughter had been kidnapped. On August 27, an FIR was filed against Chinmayanand, and she was tracked down three days later in Rajasthan.
She said she told the college authorities that she was going home for a day, and from there ran to Delhi with the help of friends. She said she kept in touch with her family, using different phones rather than her mobile to avoid being tracked and to shield them from any harm. “I knew no one would register my FIR and everyone would doubt me. So, I uploaded my video talking about how my life and that of other girls was destroyed on Facebook, and kept moving from one state to another.”
She added that she expects her fight to be long. “They are free to make all the allegations they want against me, but I have evidence… Meri to zindagi barbaad kar di (My life has been destroyed), I am doing this at the cost of my name, but I just want to ensure that the life of no other girl or boy is destroyed… Maalish to yeh karwana bhool jayega (He will never target anyone else).”