Lucknow, September 3: Former union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Swami Chinmayanand remained untraceable as local police team returned empty hand from his ashram in Haridwar. A woman from Shahjahanpur accused Swami Chinmayanand of harassment and the police went to Haridwar to question him. However, the BJP leader was not found, said the police on Tuesday.
"A team had gone to Haridwar to probe the charges... It has returned on Monday as Chinmayanand was not found in his ashram there," Superintendent of Police, City, Dinesh Tripathi, told news agency PTI. The woman, who accused Chinmayanand of harassment, is a student at a college run by the BJP leader's trust. Acting under Supreme Court’s order, the Uttar Pradesh government today formed an SIT to probe charges levelled by the woman.
The SIT to be headed by IG (Public Grievance) Naveen Arora will look into the two cross FIRs filed in the high-profile case. "This SIT will ensure impartial investigation into the two cross FIRs filed in the Shahjahanpur case and also probe the allegations levelled," read a statement issued by the state Home Department. The move by the U.P. government comes a day after the Supreme Court directed it to set up an SIT to investigate the charges levelled by the woman.
The woman was missing since August 24, a day after she posted a video on social media alleging that a "senior leader of the sant community" was harassing and threatening to kill her. She did not name Chinmayanand in the video. Her father had filed a complaint with police accusing Chinmayanand of sexually harassing her, a charge refuted by the BJP leader's lawyer who claimed it was a "conspiracy" to blackmail him.
The woman was found in Rajasthan on August 30 by UP police. The Shahjahanpur police have booked Chinmayanand on charges related to abduction for murder and criminal intimidation on the complaint of the girl's father. (With agency inputs)