A law student in Uttar Pradesh had leveled rape charges against a BJP leader, Swami Chinmayanand and had even uploaded videos for that. Then she went into hiding citing danger to her and her family. She later resurfaced in Rajasthan but only after the Supreme Court took suo motu cognizance.
Supreme Court’s action and mischievous complaint
In an interesting turn of events, the Supreme Court took suo moto cognizance of the issue and ordered a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe.
On September 2, the Court ordered the government of Uttar Pradesh to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the allegations of sexual harassment against former Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Swami Chinmayanand, leveledby the law student and her family and handed over further monitoring of the case to the Allahabad High Court. (source)
She had even uploaded a video where she was seen pleading with the Indian PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for help. And she had also leveled charges against whom she called “a person from ‘Sant Samaj’” while saying that “he has destroyed the lives of many women including hers” (video is here). Choice of words – Sant Samaj – while referring to the BJP leader is quite interesting and shows the direction of her thought process.
Now, it does not mean that Chinmayanand is innocent. He is not. He has admitted to receiving body massages from the law student and also indulging in explicit conversation. He has not admitted to rape. Although, it is believed by the investigative agencies that he may be guilty of it.
Accuser and friends tried extortion from the Swami
In an interesting development, it has come to light that the law student, along with her associates was calling Chinmayanand for extorting Rs 5 crore.
Three persons — identified as Sanjay Singh, Sachin Sengar and Vikram alias Durgesh — allegedly directly associated with her, were arrested on charges of sending extortion messages to Mr. Chinmayanand demanding ₹5 crore from him. Police said all three have confessed to making the extortion calls. (source)
The burner phone they used to make the extortion calls was thrown near Mehandipur Balaji in Rajasthan.
The law student, named as “Ms A” in the records, has been sent to 14-day judicial custody now.
The role of a religious leader comes with a lot of responsibility as there is a lot of trust that people hold them in. It brings all kinds of people close to them. Often those who are very vulnerable. Many pastors have been convicted and arrested. For example, Pastor Sanil K James who was already serving a 40-year jail term for raping a minor girl was sentenced to life in prison till death by a special court in Thrissur for raping a 13-year-old girl multiple times over two years. Similarly, many other pastors and religious leaders have been in the dock. As have some folks masquerading as “Swamis”. Now, in our culture, devotion has been central and that is one thing that has kept us different from the other more exclusivist cultures. What is needed is better consciousness, not to destroy the culture. Please read Case for Spiritual Gurus: Acceptance of Millions of Nirmal Babas Makes Reverence of One Nanak Possible
What is of particular interest is how the media and the accuser (like this one did) link the crimes of a few to the entire group of Sadhus or Sants or Gurus. Most of these guys are just glib talkers. Nothing much.
It is time that we all come together to oust folks like ‘Swami Chinmayanand’, while ensuring that it does not become a witch hunt for a particular religious group.