The Uttar Pradesh Police on Tuesday formed a Special Investigation Team to investigate harassment charges by a law student against Bharatiya Janata Party leader Chinmayanand, PTI reported. This came a day after the Supreme Court asked the state government to constitute an SIT to look into the woman’s allegations.

“A decision has been taken by UP Chief Secretary RK Tiwari to constitute an SIT, which would be headed by a IG [Public Grievance] Naveen Arora,” the statement from Uttar Pradesh’s Home Department said. “This SIT will ensure impartial investigation into the two cross FIRs filed in the Shahjahanpur case and also probe the allegations levelled.” The state government also ordered that police officials with a clean image should be part of the panel.

The Bareilly Commissioner and the vice chancellor of Rohelkhand University were asked to make sure that the law student and her brother get admission. The woman and her family would also be provided adequate security.

Meanwhile, Shahjahanpur police officials, who had gone to question Chinmayanand at his Haridwar ashram, could not find him there, officials told PTI on Tuesday. “A team had gone to Haridwar to probe the charges,” Superintendent of Police [City] Dinesh Tripathi was quoted as saying. “It has returned on Monday as Chinmayanand was not found in his ashram there.”

Shahjahanpur Police also started inquiry into the alleged extortion message sent to Chinmayanand on August 22 and also brought the youth, a prime suspect in the extortion case, from Delhi, The Indian Express reported. The man had accompanied the law student when police officials found her in a hotel in Rajasthan on August 30.

Chinmayanand’s lawyer, on August 22, had claimed that a WhatsApp message to the former BJP MP had made a demand for Rs 5 crore and threatened to tarnish the ashram’s reputation. The sender reportedly also claimed to possess a video that they threatened to circulate.

The family of the woman, who met the law student on Sunday, are currently in New Delhi under police protection. The woman’s father claimed that she seemed to be afraid and had broken down after meeting her mother.

“We have assured her that the administration and court are with us and no one could harm us,” the woman’s father said. “She said that she wanted to return home but due to fear left for Rajasthan. She has all the proof against Chinmayanand and she has kept them in safe place.”

The law student from Shahjahanpur had gone missing soon after posting a video on Facebook on August 24, alleging harassment by influential people. Though she had not named anyone in the video, a missing person complaint filed by her father had named Chinmayanand, who is the president of the college administration.

The BJP leader had refuted the charges and said that he was being framed like Unnao rape accused Kuldeep Singh Sengar. However, police booked a case against him for allegedly kidnapping the woman.

The Supreme Court, on Monday, while hearing the case had also asked the Allahabad High Court Chief Justice to constitute a bench to monitor the investigation in the two first information reports lodged in the case. This followed after a group of lawyers had approached the Supreme Court last week requesting for the case to be taken up suo motu.

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