Shahjahanpur: “Ab aapne sab dekh liya hai. Main kya bolun. Apne kiye pe sharminda hoon (Now you have seen everything. What more can I say? I am ashamed of what I have done).”
This is what former BJP MP and Union minister Swami Chinmayanand, accused of raping a law student inside his ashram in UP’s Shahjahanpur, told the Special Investigation Team (SIT), when confronted with the massage videos clips submitted by the student as evidence. But when Chinmayanand was questioned if he raped the student, he neither agreed nor disagreed.
Chinmayanand was arrested by the UP Police Friday morning from his ashram on charges of stalking, criminal intimidation and as a person in a position of authority seducing a woman for ‘sexual intercourse not amounting to rape’, and sent to a district jail for 14 days.
Speaking to ThePrint, IG Naveen Arora, who is heading the SIT, said: “He accepted and admitted to most allegations that were made by the student, on the basis of which we have booked him for rape and have arrested him.”
The police have also found records of over 230 calls between Chinmayanand and the law student — mostly made by him.
Clips found ‘authentic’
According to a source in the SIT, the video evidence in the form of seven to eight clips, in 43 parts, provided by the law student was found to be authentic and genuine after a forensic examination, and proved to be “crucial” in the probe. Chinmayanand and his lawyer had initially denied the existence of any such videos.
ThePrint learnt that the student had purchased a pair of camera-fitted spectacles from Flipkart, which she received on 29 March, and started recording these videos to gather evidence against Chinmayanand.
According to the same source, she recorded these video clips — each clip being 10 to 12 minutes long, until June this year, and created a library. She then handed over these clips as proof to the police.
“After we found the videos to be authentic, we showed each clip to Chinmayanand and confronted him. He admitted that it was him in the video and he insisted on these massages. He also admitted to have threatened the girl,” the source said.
“There were videos of the girl giving a back, front and side massage to Chinmayanand. He is also heard saying obscene things to the girl, which he admitted to have said. All this has been taken on record.”
Massages for private parts, obscene chats
During the investigation, the SIT found that Chinmayanand insisted on a massage on his private parts and threatened the girl of dire consequences when she refused.
A second source told ThePrint that the clips also have audible chats between the student and Chinmayanand, in which he is heard saying obscene things to the girl — asking for sexual favours, talking about her private parts, what attracts and satisfies him and how he needs her services for a period of “9 months”.
“He held these massage sessions inside a private room in his ashram, which most people do not have access to,” the second source said, adding that when confronted with the rape allegations, the former union minister said “one thing led to another. I am ashamed”.
A few videos placed on record as evidence also show how Chinmayanand lured the student by promising her more money, a hostel room and a job.
“He lured her by promising Rs 25,000 per semester, a job and room in the hostel. When she refused, he threatened to use his clout and wipe out her family — kill her father and brother,” the second source said.
“The chats that are clearly audible in these clips show how he intimidated the student to get sexual favours.”
The crucial video evidence with the police also reveals that there are more students who were called in for “seva” (service). However, no one has come forward to give a formal complaint to the police.
“The video clips make a passing reference of more girls coming to ‘serve’ Chinmayanand. He also names a few girls, but no one has come forward to give a formal complaint,” a police officer said.
Asked about this, IG Arora said: “It is suspected that there are more victims of this abuse and we urge students to come to us with proof. No one till now has turned in any evidence. The investigation in the matter is still on and if there are more such cases, our team will take action accordingly.”