New Delhi: The law student who has accused former Union minister and BJP MP Chinmayanand of allegedly raping, threatening and physically assaulting her was Tuesday questioned at her house by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in a case of extortion.
“Members of the SIT had come home and questioned her in connection with the extortion case,” the student’s brother told ThePrint.
She has maintained her stand that she wasn’t involved, the brother added.
He also said his family had moved an anticipatory bail in the Shahjahanpur district court. The plea will be heard on 26 September.
Last Friday, the SIT arrested three persons — Sanjay Singh, Sachin Senger and Vikram — for allegedly sending a text message to Chinmayanand to extort Rs 5 crore from him. The student is also a suspect in the case. Even though she had been not included as an accused in the FIR, she was on the SIT’s radar.
According to sources in the SIT, a complex web of phone calls and digital evidence, including a video and CCTV footage, suggested that the student too was part of the conspiracy hatched by the men to extort money from Chinmayanand.
The student, however, had denied these allegations, stating that it was attempt to make her case of sexual assault against Chinmayanand weak.
‘Exchanged several calls with arrested men’
The SIT claimed it had prepared a flowchart of call detail records and found that the law student and six of her friends exchanged over 4,300 calls since January. Of these, the most number of calls were exchanged in August — just before that alleged extortion call was made to Chinmayanand.
The police claimed that Sanjay, who reportedly is the student’s friend, installed WhatsApp on his mobile and activated the SIM card through which the message was sent and conveyed this to the student immediately.
“Sanjay was the centre of this operation, as all of these persons, including the girl, were in touch with him,” said a source in the SIT.
The SIT also claimed that Chinmayanand exchanged calls with the law student, her father and mother, who then made several calls to her.
The student is also seen in a video in which the three men can be seen discussing the extortion attempt, the SIT source alleged.
“Two of her friends are (seen) discussing how they sent a message to a powerful person (Chinmayanand) asking for Rs 5 crore and its implications while driving in a car. The student is seen sitting on the rear seat contributing actively to their conversation,” alleged a source in the UP Police.
The extortion case
On 22 August, Chinmayanand allegedly received a text message from an unknown number on WhatsApp, threatening that if he did not pay up Rs 5 crore, then his naked videos would be leaked online.
Speaking to ThePrint, Chinmayanand’s lawyer Om Singh had said after receiving the text, the BJP leader immediately forwarded it to him, asking him to inform the police and get the number traced.
“The text also said that if he tries to act smart, it will be him who will suffer in the end,” said Singh, adding that he reported the case to the police and lodged a formal complaint on behalf of Chinmayanand. “I also met senior police officers for the next two days and was assured that the number will be traced.”
However, before a case could be registered, the student posted a video on her Facebook profile on 24 August, alleging sexual assault, Singh claimed.
In the video, the student can be heard alleging that she was sexually harassed by a “sanyasi” who is also the “manager” of her college in Shahjahanpur.
“She did not name Chinmayanand in that video. May be it was a tactic to scare him. She released that video because she knew we have approached the police and now her involvement may come out in the public domain,” Singh said.
The police registered a case of extortion on the same night, he added.
This report has been updated to accurately reflect that the law student wasn’t arrested but questioned by the SIT.