Sex abuse accused Chinmayanand gets NCC salute

Sex abuse accused Chinmayanand gets NCC salute

File photo

NCC cadets from institutes run by former Union minister Swami Chinmayanand offered a salute to him and visitors at his ashram were served a special 'prasad' after his release on bail from the district prison.

Chinmayanand walked out of the prison on Wednesday, two days after being granted bail in the case in which he is accused of sexually abusing a law student.

Chinmayanand's advocate Om Singh said NCC cadets saluted him when he visited Mumukshu Ashram.

When contacted, a police official said Chinmayanad should not have been given a salute as he is an accused. He, however, added that this might have happened as he heads the Mumukshu Ashram, which runs various colleges.

Amit Singh, a relative of Chinmayanand, said after his release, hundreds of supporters gathered at the ashram, where they were served food prepared as 'prasad' for the occasion.

Superintendent of Police (City) Dinesh Tripathi on Thursday said, "For the security of the law student, a guard has been deployed. One gunner each was deployed for her and for her family, and they are still there."

The SP said Chinmayanand's gunner was withdrawn after his arrest. "If there is any demand for the gunner, a committee will take a decision, and provide security to Chinmayanad," the SP said.

Chinmayanand's advocate Singh alleged that a conspiracy was hatched against the politician.

Chinmayanand, 72, was released from the Shahjahanpur district jail on Wednesday after the completion of legal formalities, prison superintendent Rakesh Kumar said.

The Allahabad High Court had granted him bail on Monday. But he was not released earlier as the bail papers had not reached the jail.

While granting him bail, Justice Rahul Chaturvedi also transferred Chinmayanand's trial from Shahjahanpur to Lucknow, taking note of the victim's apprehension that he could influence proceedings in his hometown.

Outside the Shahjahanpur jail, Chinmayanand's supporters waited for him with flowers. He was then driven to his ashram, where he offered prayers before leaving for his home.

Chinmayanand, whose trust runs the Shahjahanpur law college where the woman studied, was arrested on September 20 under section 376-C of the IPC, a charge short of rape.

It is applied when someone in authority takes advantage of his official position to "induce or seduce" a woman to have sex with him.

In a parallel case, the woman was arrested for trying to extort money from Chinmayanand, whom she had accused of rape.

She and her three friends had allegedly threatened to release video clips of massages she claimed she was forced to perform on the politician, who was disowned by the ruling BJP after the sexual abuse charges surfaced.

The high court granted the woman bail in the extortion case on December 4.

Last year, the Supreme Court had stepped in when the 23-year-old student went missing for a few days in August after posting a video clip on social media, alleging sexual abuse.

A special investigation team of Uttar Pradesh Police, formed on the directions of the apex court, later arrested Chinmayanand and the student.

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