A month after a law student leveled charges of rape against him, BJP leader and former Union minister Swami Chinmayanand was on Friday arrested by Uttar Pradesh police which charged him with an offense of not amounting to rape, stalking and criminal intimidation.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by IG Naveen Arora also arrested three friends of the woman on charges of trying to extort Rs 5 crore from Chinmayanand, criminal intimidation, causing the disappearance of evidence and sending offensive messages to him.
While Chinmayanand accepted "all evidences" that have come up against him, the three friends of the woman - Sanjay Singh, Vikram, Sachin--have accepted demanding the money from Chinmayanand, Arora told reporters.
Chinmayanand, who was the minister of state for home in the Vajpayee government and ran a college in Shahjahanpur where the girl was a student, was produced before a local court which remanded him to 14-days judicial custody.
A medical examination was done before he was produced in the court, Arora said.
"Swami Chinmayanand has admitted to almost every allegation leveled against him, including sexual conversations and a body massage (said to have been given by the girl, a clipping of which had gone viral). Circumstantial evidence was also being examined. He said he doesn't want to say anything more as he's ashamed of his acts," the SIT chief said after the arrests.
Chinmayanan has been charged under Section 376 (c) (a person in the position of fiduciary seducing a woman for sexual intercourse not amounting to rape), 354 (d) (stalking), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
Giving details of the case, Arora said that Chinmayanand accepted receiving massage from the girl after a video of him receiving it was shown to him. He said that both Chinmayanand and the girl talked over the phone 200 times last year.
The law student has been alleging that she was repeatedly raped by the BJP leader for over a year. She said that the accused recorded the incident on the camera and used it to blackmail her.
A couple of days ago, she had circulated a video message threatening to commit self-immolation if the police does not file rape charge against Chinmayanand.
According to the SIT, the girl contacted one of the three persons arrested for extortion 4,200 times last year, adding that prima facie her involvement in the case is also being made out.
The trio has been charged under Section 385 (extortion), 506 (criminal intimidation), 201 (disappearance of evidence) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC and sending an offensive message under Section 66 (a) the IT act.
Arora also said that Chinamayanand's health was deteriorating and he has been visiting the hospital in the last two days.
The matter came to the fore when the girl went missing on August 24 after putting up a Facebook post alleging that a person from 'sant samaj' threatened to kill her and her kin. She did not name Chinmayanand then.
She was tracked down in Rajasthan six days later and produced before the Supreme Court the same day after a direction from the apex court. The apex court then directed setting up an SIT to probe the matter.