Former Bharatiya Janata Party MP Chinmayanand on Wednesday likened the harassment case against him to the rape case filed against Uttar Pradesh legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar, News18 reported. Chinmayanand was on Tuesday booked on the basis of a missing persons complaint for a law student who had posted a video on social media to allege harassment by influential people.

Sengar has been in jail since April 2018 when he was accused of raping a teenager. He was expelled by the BJP earlier this month.

Denying the allegations, Chinmayanand claimed that it was a conspiracy hatched by four men and the woman. He told News18: “It is an attempt to malign the image of the Yogi Adityanath government. I am being falsely framed just like Kuldeep Singh Sengar.”

He said the four men had earlier tried to blackmail him and extort money, IANS reported.

The woman, a student at a law college in Shahjahanpur, had posted the video asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Adityanath for help. “A big leader of the saint society, who has destroyed the lives of several girls, has been threatening me with life,” the woman said in the viral clip. “I have all evidence against him. He has even threatened to kill my family. Only I know what I have been going through. Modi ji please help me, he is a sanyasi and is threatening that the police, DM [district magistrate] and everyone else is on his side and no one can harm him. I request you all for justice.”

The video was posted on the woman’s Facebook page on Saturday evening, the same day she went missing. The 72-year-old leader was booked under Sections 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh Women Commission has sought a report from the Shahjahanpur district administration on the student’s disappearance.

In the Supreme Court, a group of lawyers urged a bench headed by Justice NV Ramana to urgently take cognisance of the incident. The bench initially asked the lawyers to approach the concerned High Court but later agreed to look into the matter.

Last year, the Uttar Pradesh government had decided to withdraw a rape case against Chinmayanand that was later rejected by a Shahjahanpur court. The complaint was filed by a woman who stayed at his ashram for many years. She had allegedly been held captive, raped and assaulted for several years. The police had filed a chargesheet in 2012, but Chinmayanand was not arrested.

The BJP leader is a three-time Lok Sabha MP and was also a minister of state in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s administration.

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