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After 7-hr interrogation, Chinmayanand put under house arrest, ashram sealed


Shahjahanpur (Uttar Pradesh): The special investigation team (SIT) probing the Shahjahanpur rape case, has sealed the Divya ashram of the accused BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand.

Chinmayanand, who was interrogated by the SIT on Thursday night for almost seven hours, has been placed under house arrest.

"All the rooms in the ashram have been sealed and only one room has been left open. A heavy deployment of force has been made outside the ashram. Forensic teams are being called in to take evidences from the bedroom of the accused and other rooms," said a police official.

The SIT had earlier searched the hostel room of the victim after which her father claimed that evidences locked in the room were missing.

The former Union Minister accused of sexual misconduct by a law student, has been questioned late on Thursday at the reserve police lines here in Uttar Pradesh. Chinmayanand was accompanied by his lawyer Om Singh.

Earlier on Thursday, SIT had recorded the statement of SS Law College Principal Sanjay Kumar Baranwal and Secretary Avanish Misra.

SIT sources had on Thursday that summon had been sent to Chinmayanand for questioning but the former Minister did not appear citing health reasons.

According to reports, Chinmayanand was interrogated on the allegations leveled by the law student, as well as on a video clip showing him getting a massage by a girl.

The 72-year-old reportedly denied the allegations and claimed that he was being asked for money by some boys and when he refused to pay, they hatched the conspiracy against him.

The 23-year-old postgraduate student has alleged that she was raped repeatedly and "physically exploited" for a year by the BJP leader, whose organization runs several colleges in Shahjahanpur.

The law student also alleged that some vital evidence have been removed from her hostel room by Chinmayanand's supporters before it was sealed by the police.

Her father alleged that they removed from the room a pair of spectacles with a camera fitted in them, suggesting that this contained evidence against the BJP leader.

The woman also alleged that they planted some things there to tarnish her image.

On August 24, the student had posted a video on Facebook in which she alleged the former Union Minister had exploited many girls, including her. She also claimed to possess proof against Swami Chinmayanand. After posting the video, she went missing.

On August 25, Shahjahanpur police filed an FIR on the complaint of Chinmayanand's lawyer Om Singh under the sections of extortion and Information Technology Act against unidentified persons.

Later, police lodged another FIR under IPC section 364 (abduction with intent to commit murder) and 506 (criminal intimidation) against Chinmayanand and unidentified persons on August 27.

However, Chinmayanand was not summoned or arrested by police.

On August 30, the law student was found in Rajasthan's Dausa district.

A team of Uttar Pradesh Police recovered her from a hotel near Mehandipur Balaji temple in Dausa and produced her in the Supreme Court on same day as per the apex court's directives.

The top court later ordered an SIT probe into her allegations. A special bench of the Allahabad High Court is monitoring the SIT probe.

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News Summary - After 7-hr interrogation, Chinmayanand put under house arrest, ashram sealed
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