Chinmayanand, a victim of conspiracy: Apex saint body

Former union minister and senior BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand.

In a shocking U-turn days after deciding to ''ex-communicate'' former BJP MP Swami Chinmayanand from the saint community following his arrest on charges of ''sexually exploiting'' a law student, the All India Akhara Parishad (AIAP), an apex body of the saints in the country, lent support to the accused seer claiming that he had been a victim of ''conspiracy''.

''Chinmayanand was victim of a conspiracy hatched by the girl and her friends, who wanted to extort money from him,'' the Parishad president Mahant Narendra Giri said in Prayagraj.

''We have decided to lend full support to Chinmayanand....he will remain a member of the saint community,'' Narendra Giri said.

The same Narendra Giri had earlier said that the rape accused Swami was a disgrace to the saint community. ''Chinmayanand has admitted to the charges....his deeds cannot be tolerated....he has embarrassed the entire saint community,'' the Mahant had said barely a few days back.

Chinmayanand held the title of 'Mahamandaleswhar' (a high position in the saint community) and was associated with Mahanirvani Akhara.

The former saffron party MP, who had 'ashrams' and ran several educational institutions in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, had, according to the police, admitted to having had a massage from the victim on several occasions.

The seer had also admitted to having indulged in ''obscene'' conversation with the victim, who was a student at a law college at Shahajahanpur of which Chinmayanand was the president.

The victim and her three friends were also arrested by the police on charges of allegedly trying to extort money from the seer by threatening him with making his 'obscene videos' public.

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