India arrests woman who accused BJP leader of sexual assault – World

A 23-year-old law student who accused a leader of India's ruling party of sexual assault was arrested Wednesday on extortion charges, police said.

Naveen Arora, a police officer who handles the case, said the woman is accused of demanding almost $ 700,000 from the legislator, Chinmayanand, who uses a name, and "was arrested at his residence and will be brought to court."

In August, the student accused Chinmayanand, leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and president of the university where she studies sexual assault, harassment and intimidation. She first mentioned her alleged harassment in a video clip posted on social media last month.

The politician's lawyer has denied the accusations.

Chinmayanand, who was arrested on September 20, was transferred from a jail to a hospital in Lucknow, the capital of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, where he is being treated for heart problems.

The 72-year-old man is a former Uttar Pradesh minister and had previously faced charges in a rape case filed in 2011. Those charges were dropped in 2017.

The law student had said before that the extortion case against her had been slapped to weaken her case against Chinmayanand.

BJP has a checkered history of its leaders accused of sexual assault. In August, lawmaker Kuldeep Singh Sengar was fired from the party after being accused of raping a 17-year-old girl in 2017.

In January 2018, two BJP legislators attended protest rallies organized by Hindu organizations that defended defendants in the rape and murder of an 8-year-old boy inside a Hindu temple. It was only after a national uproar that the BJP caused the two ministers to resign.



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