SIT grills Chinmayanand for 7 hours, seize Ashram room

NEW DELHI: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) grilled former Union Minister and BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand for almost 7 hours on Thursday in connection with sexual harassment charges leveled by a law student of Shahjahanpur against him.

The SIT has also seized a room in his Ashram and is likely to reopen it for investigation today.

SIT summoned him via a notice. He went to the SIT cell at 6 pm and the questioning went on till 1 am,” said Om Singh, Chinmayanand’s lawyer.

“They have not seized the Ashram but instead a room. They will likely open it today for investigation. Swami Chinmayanand is in Ashram only and will fully cooperate with the SIT,” said the lawyer.

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An SIT was formed on the directions of the Supreme Court in the first week of September to investigate the case. The team is led by an Inspector General-rank officer and assisted by a Superintendent of Police (SP). The Allahabad High Court will monitor the probe adding the SIT will take note of the FIR and the cross-FIR filed in the case, the apex court had said in its directions to UP government.

The law student had gone missing on August 24 after a video of her alleging that a person from ‘Sant Samaj’ had threatened to kill her and her parents went viral on social media.

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The top court had taken suo moto cognisance of the issue after a group of lawyers led by advocate Shobha Gupta wrote a letter to Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi to take note of the case as they did not want another “Unnao case-like incident to happen”.

The woman was produced before the top court on August 30 after she was found in Rajasthan. The court has also asked the state government to transfer the law student to a different college so that she can continue her education.

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