BJP’s Idea of Justice? After the law student who accused former Union minister and BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand of rape was arrested, the opposition amped up their attack on the Yogi Adityanath government. While the survivor is in jail, Chinmayanand is in hospital despite being arrested!
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday asked if this is the “BJP’s justice”.
The law student was arrested on Wednesday on charges of extortion and sent to 14-day judicial custody. Hours later, her bail plea was rejected, while the ‘Swami’ who has been a three times union minister in successive BJP governments, is in hospital! Earlier women’s organisations in UP had held vociferous street protests on the issue.Following the uproar, Chinmayanand was finally also arrested, but charges of rape have not yet been brought against him. He is currently undergoing treatment at Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow.
Priyanka Gandhi posted a tweet in which she said that in the cases of the Unnao and Shahjahanpur rapes, the police have delayed action against the accused, both of whom are BJP leaders. Only after public pressure were they arrested, the Congress general secretary in-charge of eastern UP.
“Unnao rape case: Victim’s father is killed. Victim’s uncle is arrested. Following massive public pressure and after 13 months, accused MLA arrested. Attempt to kill the victim’s family. Shahjahanpur rape case: Victim arrested. Victim’s family being pressured,” Priyanka Gandhi said in a tweet.
“Even the charge of rape has not been put on the accused BJP leader [Chinmayanand]. Is this BJP’s justice?” she said.
Chinmayanand, who was sent to judicial custody after his arrest, was booked under section 376C (taking advantage of his official position to have sexual intercourse) of the IPC, a charge that will attract lesser punishment than rape. The 72-year-old is a three-time BJP MP and was a minister of state for home during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
On Thursday, Brinda Karat of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) isited the Shahjahanpur jail. She told the media that she had discussed the case with the woman’s family and promised to help them. She also visited met SIT officials. She questioned why the woman was sent to jail for a bailable offence, calling the act “inhuman”.
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav also came down on the BJP for the arrest. “BJP has revealed its real face by sending the daughter, who mustered the courage to raise her voice against a BJP leader, to jail. Today every daughter, sister, and mother in the country is saddened by this shameless act and some people are saying ‘Everything is fine in the country’. Condemnable! The slogan of ‘Beti Bachao’ too has turned out to be a jumla after all,” the former chief minister tweeted on Thursday.
According to Hindustan Times, the woman’s family reiterated that they did not try to extort the BJP leader. “My daughter has not confessed to anything. She was arrested to put pressure on her and weaken her case against Chinmayanand. We just want to appeal to the government to ensure that justice is done in the case,” said the father. They said Chinmayanand was being ‘pampered’ at the hospital.
Hospital authorities have defended his hospitalisation, claiming that the former Union minister was still complaining of “severe weakness and urinary problems”. “He is under observation and undergoing further investigations for his diabetic and urinary problems,” the hospital said.
The BJP, meanwhile, claimed that the leader was not a member of the party anymore. Speaking to the media, party spokesperson Harish Shrivastava said, “He is not a BJP member and the law will take its course against him.”The spokesperson did not provide any information as to when he stopped being a party member. “I think for a long time. Right after he fought elections and became a minister? It’s not a question of documents and we cannot give an exact date but Chinmayanand is not a member of the BJP.”
In the Unnao case too, the BJP had claimed that the accused MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar had been suspended “a long time ago” from the party, despite media reports showing otherwise. He was formally expelled from the party on August 1, after intense public pressure accusing the party of supporting the rape and murder accused leader.