'Camera used to film rape-accused BJP leader Chinmayanand missing'

Camera used to film Chinmayanand missing, says survivor’s father
BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand

A day after a Special Investigative Team searched the hostel room of a Shahjahanapur law student who alleged that former Union Minister and BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand had raped her, the woman’s father told The Week that some items were missing from the room, including a set of camera glasses that were allegedly used to film Chinmayanand.

Expressing frustration with the progress of the police investigation into Chinmayanand, Harish Sharma, father of the survivor, says that cigarette butts and condoms were planted in his daughter’s room, while the camera glasses, a purse and a letter were all missing.

The woman was examined at a local medical college hospital on Wednesday by a panel of doctors. On Monday, she told the media that the police were reluctant to file a rape charge against Chinmayanand, who she says “physically exploited” her for a year. She alleged that Chinmayanand forced her to give him massages, adding that she had video evidence of Chinmayanand, which was handed to the SIT on a USB drive by her friend.

The young woman, who had gone missing on August 24 after posting a video on her social media page in which she accused a ‘powerful Swami’ of destroying her life, was a first-year student of the master's course at the Swami Shukdevanand Law College (SSLC). Chinmayanand is the chairman of the committee which manages the institution based in Shahjahanpur.

By Wednesday, a widely-circulated clip allegedly showed Chinmayanand being given a massage by a girl whose back is towards the camera. The nature of the footage suggests that it was filmed by a camera-glass, which was placed in a stationary position in the first part of the video, and is worn during the second, explicit part.

The video has a date stamp of January 2014 with a run time of 9 minutes and 58 seconds. The conversation between the two is sparse, with the man in the video suggesting to the girl that she must start sitting in court to get an idea of how things work. He also inquires about her mother’s job.

Towards the end of the video, the man lies down and his private parts are exposed. The girl's hands can be seen massaging his upper thighs and groin.

A second video, slightly less than two minutes long, has a group of four boys and a girl arguing over why the video was made. It is not clear which video they are speaking about. In the video, one of the boys on the front seat of the car says, “This is a matter of life and death”. This video is shot in a moving car.

The video posted by the student before she went missing was also shot in a moving car.

Speaking to Times of India, Chinmayanand's lawyer, Om Singh, called the videos "an attempt to defame my client" and has asked for them to be sent to a forensic lab for testing.

Meanwhile, the girl’s father said that he was disappointed at the pace at which the team formed to probe the case is working. “Why are they not questioning the Swami? They have only questioned his lawyer. My daughter is even more fearful now. The charge of rape against him still has not been added”, he told The Week.

“All the recordings made through the spectacles were put on a pen drive and given to the team. We have no idea about the kind of videos which are being circulated and who is doing so. We do not have faith in the investigation”, Sharma told The Week.

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