Missing UP law student found in Rajasthan: Girl had accused BJP leader of harassment

She told the judges in an in-camera interaction that she did not want to go back to her hometown till she meets her parents.

New Delhi/Lucknow: The woman student who had gone missing from Shahjahanpur after levelling harassment allegations against BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand was on Friday found in Rajasthan and produced within hours before the Supreme Court.

She told the judges in an in-camera interaction that she did not want to go back to her hometown till she meets her parents.

The apex court has asked Delhi Police Commissioner to ensure that her parents travel safely from Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh to the national capital.

The woman told the court she will decide on her future course after meeting her parents. The bench will hear the matter again on Monday.

Earlier in the day, Uttar Pradesh police said their team found her at a Rajasthan hotel with a friend. The team bringing the post-graduate student to Shahjahanpur was directed to Delhi midway — it had reached Fatehpur Sikri — when the apex court ordered that she should be brought before it during the day itself.

The court had taken cognisance of the matter on Thursday after a group of lawyers wrote to Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi about it. The bench of justice R. Banumathi and A.S. Bopanna met again in the evening, when the woman was brought to the Supreme Court. “The woman wants to be in Delhi till her parents come here,” the bench said in a 30-minute open court hearing, after first meeting her alone. The judges said the woman has told them that she had left Shahjahanpur with her three college mates “in order to protect herself”.

The bench said the woman will be Delhi for four days and the apex court registry will ensure her safe stay. The woman had been missing for six days after posting a video on social media, alleging that “a senior leader of the sant community” was harassing her. She did not name Chinmayanand, a former Union minister. But in a police complaint, her father alleged that he was behind her disappearance.

He accused Chinma-yanand of sexually harassing his daughter and other girls at the Shahjahanpur college which is run by his ashram.

The politician, who faced similar accusations in 2011 and was booked for raping a woman who stayed at his ashram, disputed the charge through his counsel.
Chinmayanand’s counsel Om Singh had earlier alleged there was an attempt to blackmail the BJP leader to extort Rs 5 crore.

An FIR was lodged, mentioning a message received by the BJP leader from an unknown number.

The Uttar Pradesh police were tracking the woman’s movement for “the past four to five days”, the state’s Director General of Police O.P. Singh said soon after she was traced.

“We constituted a number of teams and they were working in Rajasthan, Haryana, UP and Delhi. The STF was also deployed for tracking her,” he said.

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