Former Bharatiya Janata Party MP Chinmayanand was questioned by a Special Investigation Team for around seven hours on Thursday night, PTI reported. This came days after a 23-year-old law student from Shahjahanpur, who had earlier accused Chinmayanand of harassment, alleged that the former Union minister had raped and physically exploited her for a year.

Chinmayanand’s lawyer Om Singh said he was summoned to the police station and was later brought back to his residence Divya Dham in Mumukshu Ashram under tight security. The SIT team also inspected Chinmayanand’s bedroom at his ashram, and are likely to continue the inspection on Friday. But the police are yet to file a rape case against the BJP leader.

“We are fully cooperating with the investigation, we may have to appear again,” Singh told NDTV. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had asked the state government to constitute an SIT to look into the woman’s allegations.

The student had gone missing soon after posting a video alleging harassment by influential people on August 24. Although she did not name anyone, a missing-person complaint filed by her father named Chinmayanand, who is the president of her college administration. The Uttar Pradesh Police, on August 27, had booked Chinmayanand on kidnapping charges. She was found in Rajasthan on August 30.

The student had on Monday alleged that the Shahjahanpur Police in Uttar Pradesh were not registering a complaint against the rape case. “Swami Chinmayanand raped me and even exploited me physically for one year,” she had alleged before the media, her face covered with a black scarf. “The Delhi Police has registered this complaint at Lodhi Road police station and has forwarded it to Shahjahanpur Police, which is not registering the rape case.”

The BJP leader is a three-time Lok Sabha MP and was also a minister of state in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s administration. The 72-year-old had claimed that he was being framed like Unnao rape-accused legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar.

Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.