A district court in Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh on Monday dismissed the bail pleas of Bharatiya Janata Party leader Chinmayanand and the law student who accused him of rape, ANI reported. While the BJP leader has been booked on watered down sexual assault charges but not rape, the complainant has been arrested for alleged extortion.
Chinmayanand was sent to judicial custody for 14 days on September 20. He has also been charged with stalking, wrongful confinement, and criminal intimidation.
Last month, the 23-year-old complainant went missing soon after posting a video detailing her ordeal. Although she did not name anyone, her father named Chinmayanand in a missing-person complaint. On August 27, the police booked Chinmayanand on kidnapping charges. The woman was found in Rajasthan on August 30, and was produced in the Supreme Court. Last week, she claimed that she possessed about 35 videos that would implicate Chinmayanand.
Earlier on Monday, Congress leaders were detained and denied permission by the Uttar Pradesh administration to hold a protest march in support of the complainant. The leaders wanted to march from the town of Shahjahanpur to Lucknow to demand justice for the woman, who is currently in judicial custody.
Congress leader Jitin Prasada has been put under house arrest and three others have been detained.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra condemned the police action. “The criminals in UP have the protection of the government so they can intimidate the rape victim,” she said. The Congress called the protest march “Nyay Yatra” and alleged that the BJP government was helping Chinmayanand in “every possible way”.
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