New Delhi: 

The UP law student who went missing for a week after she accused BJP leader and former union minister Chinmayanand of sexual harassment chose to go into hiding because she feared for her life and that of her family, sources said today. The woman, 23, who is a student at a law college run by three-time MP Chinmayanand, 72, earlier alleged she had been “raped and even exploited physically for one year”.

In a 12-page complaint submitted to the Lodhi Road Police Station in Delhi on Thursday, the woman also said she had no faith in Uttar Pradesh Police and that her family had not received support from the Shahjahanpur district administration.

Appearing before the media on Monday, she alleged Chinmayanand had “raped and even exploited me physically for one year“, speaking with a black scarf across her face to protect her identity.

The young woman went missing on August 24, a day after she posted a video online accusing the BJP leader of harassing and threatening her. In her video she called on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for help.

After she went missing her father filed a complaint with the UP police, naming and accusing Chinmayanand of sexual harassment, a charge refuted by the former Union Minister who called it a “conspiracy” to blackmail him.

She was subsequently tracked down in Rajasthan on August 30 and produced before the Supreme Court, where she told judges she had left to protect herself. The top court ordered a Special Investigation Team (SIT), which began work on September 3, to inquire into her allegations.

“On Sunday, the SIT quizzed me for about 11 hours. I have told them about the rape. Even after I told them everything, they haven’t arrested Chinmayanand yet,” she said, adding that Shahjahanpur police officials had refused to register the rape case.

Today the SIT took the student to her college hostel, in the presence of a magistrate, to gather evidence from her room.

Although she did not name Chinmayanand at the time of her initial allegations, her father named the influential politician in his complaint to the police. As the case became public and made waves on social media, the former BJP MP was charged with kidnapping and intimidation three days after the woman’s father approached the UP police.

His lawyer has denied claims he has been trying to avoid the police. “Swami is not running away from the case. He is currently engaged in spiritual activities, but will definitely appear before the Delhi Police whenever required,” news agency ANI quoted advocate Om Singh as saying on September 2.

Chinmayanand, said to be a powerful politician, has an ashram in Shahjahanpur and runs five colleges in the town. He also runs ashrams in Hardwar and Rishikesh; his empire is believed to be worth crores though there is no official estimate.

With input from ANI

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