India arrests woman who accused BJP leader of sexual assault

Published September 26, 2019
A 23-year-old student has accused former BJP minister Chinmayanand of sexual assault, harassment and intimidation. — Photo courtesy BBC/Facebook
A 23-year-old student has accused former BJP minister Chinmayanand of sexual assault, harassment and intimidation. — Photo courtesy BBC/Facebook

A 23-year-old law student who accused a leader of India's governing party of sexual assault was arrested on Wednesday on charges of extortion, police said.

Naveen Arora, a police officer handling the case, said the woman is accused of demanding nearly $700,000 from the lawmaker, Chinmayanand, who uses one name, and “was arrested from her residence and will be produced before a court”.

In August, the student accused Chinmayanand, a leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and president of the college where she studies, of sexual assault, harassment and intimidation. She first mentioned his alleged harassment in a video clip posted on social media last month.

The politician's lawyer has denied the allegations.

Chinmayanand, who was was arrested on September 20, has been shifted from a jail to a hospital in Lucknow, the capital of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, where he is being treated for cardiac problems.

The 72-year-old is a former minister from Uttar Pradesh and had previously faced charges in a rape case filed in 2011. Those charges were withdrawn in 2017.

The law student had said earlier that the case of extortion against her had been slapped to weaken her case against Chinmayanand.

BJP has a checkered history of its leaders being accused of sexual assault. In August, lawmaker Kuldeep Singh Sengar was sacked from the party after being accused of raping a 17-year-old girl in 2017.

In January 2018, two BJP lawmakers attended protest rallies held by Hindu organisations defending the accused in the rape and murder of an 8-year-old inside a Hindu temple. It was only after a national uproar that the BJP made the two ministers resign.

Opinion

Courts & the poor
Updated 20 Jun 2021

Courts & the poor

Justice eludes those whose homes have been demolished.
No choice but to leave
20 Jun 2021

No choice but to leave

The influx of Afghan refugees into Pakistan is likely to increase again with the US withdrawal.
Cost of enforced modesty
Updated 19 Jun 2021

Cost of enforced modesty

By inviting mullahs to regulate biology textbooks the PTI government has put Pakistan in reverse gear.

Editorial

20 Jun 2021

More vaccines needed

THE vaccination rate in the country has slowed in recent days and could result in a crisis if not addressed...
20 Jun 2021

Balochistan protest

THE clashes outside the Balochistan Assembly on budget day were unfortunate. But they had been waiting to happen. ...
Silent victims
Updated 20 Jun 2021

Silent victims

THE deafening silence of political authorities, including leaders from the religious right, on the Mufti Azizur...
19 Jun 2021

NA peace — for now

AFTER a session of utter pandemonium and a distasteful war of words, normalcy finally returned to the National...
India uranium theft
Updated 19 Jun 2021

India uranium theft

REPORTS emerging from India about the theft of uranium and possible sale on the black market should be a cause for...
19 Jun 2021

KCR rigmarole

THURSDAY’S proceedings in the Supreme Court clearly demonstrated how divided the stakeholders are when it comes to...