New Delhi: The 22-year-old law student from Shahjahanpur, who has accused BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand of raping, threatening and physically assaulting her, was arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) Wednesday in an extortion case.
The woman was arrested from her residence.
The move came a day after she moved the district court to file an anticipatory bail plea. The court had posted the matter for Thursday, but the SIT went ahead with her arrest before the hearing.
The extortion case pertains to a purported text message sent to Chinmayanand to extort Rs 5 crore from him.
Speaking to ThePrint, a source in the SIT confirmed her arrest.
“She has been arrested and is being produced before the court. She will be sent to judicial custody. We will seek a remand to question her later,” said the source.
The student’s lawyer told ThePrint that she was “aggressively dragged out of her house” around 8 am and wasn’t even allowed to use the washroom.
“She was dragged so aggressively that her slippers fell and she was not even allowed to pick them up. Also, when she requested to use the washroom, she was not allowed. Is this how a rape survivor is treated in our country?” asked the student’s lawyer, Seema Mishra.
Earlier on Tuesday, the student was questioned in connection with the extortion case at her residence. This had led to speculation of her arrest. The SIT team had, however, left her residence after the questioning.
“They (SIT) had come to our residence and questioned my sister on her involvement in the extortion case. They asked her how she knew the three men who have been arrested and who hatched the plan to send a message to Chinmayanand to extort Rs 5 crore from him,” the student’s brother told ThePrint.
“My sister, however, maintained her stand that she was not involved in this at all,” he added.
Last week, 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.
According to sources in the SIT, a complex web of phone calls and digital evidence, including a video and CCTV footage, suggested that the law student too was part of the conspiracy hatched by the three men to extort money from the BJP leader.
The student had, however, denied these allegations stating that it was an attempt to weaken the case of sexual assault against Chinmayanand.
SIT sources told ThePrint that they 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. Out of these, the most number of calls were exchanged in the month of August — just before that alleged extortion call was made to Chinmayanand.
The SIT sources also claimed that the call details records showed that Chinmayanand exchanged calls with the law student, her father and mother, who then made several calls to the law student.
The student was also seen in a video in which the three men can be seen discussing the extortion attempt, the SIT alleged.