A DAY after a purported video clip of BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand getting a massage from a girl surfaced on social media, the family of the Shahjahanpur law student, who has alleged that the former Union Minister raped her and sexually assaulted her for a year, said on Wednesday that some of the evidence she had collected against him was missing from her hostel room.
The law student had earlier said that she had evidence against Chinmayanand in her hostel room, which was sealed. On Monday, the Special Investigation Team (SIT), set up to investigate the case, opened the hostel room, in the presence of the student and her father.
“My daughter had filmed Chinmayanand with a camera on a pair of spectacles. She had kept the spectacles in the hostel room before she went missing last month. On Monday, when the hostel room was opened, we found the spectacles missing. I am writing to the SIT to look into this, as evidence in the case has been tampered with,” said her father.
“In my earlier complaint to the police, I had asked them to seal my daughter’s hostel room. The police sealed the room after two days,” he said. “A friend of my daughter has handed a pen drive to the SIT which contains evidence against Chinmayanand,” he said.
When contacted, SIT officials, as well as the Shahjahanpur police, refused to comment on the matter.
Earlier this week, the law student had said the harassment began soon after she shifted to the law college hostel. Chinmayanand is president of the law college’s management committee.
“Chinmayanand had shot an objectionable video of my daughter while she was staying at the college hostel. The video was shot inside the bathroom,” said her father, alleging that Chinmayanand had been blackmailing his daughter on the basis of this video.
“My daughter then decided to collect evidence against Chinmayanand and shot his videos. I was not aware about this…. I got to know about it when I met my daughter in Delhi, after she was brought there by police,” he said.
He, however, denied any knowledge about the video clip which purportedly shows Chinmayanand getting a massage.
Chinmayanand’s lawyer, Om Singh, said the video clip was fake. “The video clip shows the date as January 31, 2014. The girl was staying in the hostel since last year. The video is fake and doctored. The SIT should investigate it,” he said.
On August 22, Singh had lodged an FIR in Shahjahanpur stating that a person had sent a text message on Chinmayanand’s phone demanding Rs 5 crore. He said the caller claimed to possess a video clip which would malign Chinmayanand’s image. “I am sure the fake video clip is linked to this,” he said.
Meanwhile, a medical examination of the law student was conducted on Wednesday. Her father said the SIT is set to question her on Thursday.
The law student was reported missing from Shahjahanpur on August 23, a day after she posted a video on social media alleging that an “influential leader of the sant community” was harassing and threatening to kill her. Her father had later accused Chinmayanand of harassing her and other students.
On August 27, Chinmayanand, who has denied the charges, was booked under Sections 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC based on the father’s complaint.
The law student was traced to Rajasthan on August 30, and produced before the Supreme Court, which took suo motu cognizance of the matter. The Supreme Court asked the Uttar Pradesh government to set up a special investigation team to “address her grievances”.