Indian woman arrested after accusing politician of sexual assault
New Delhi — A 23-year-old law student who accused a leader of India's governing party of sexual assault was arrested Wednesday on charges of extortion, police said.
Naveen Arora, a police officer handling the case, said the woman is accused of demanding nearly $700 000 from the lawmaker, Chinmayanand, who uses one name, and "was arrested from her residence and will be produced before a court."
In August, the student accused Chinmayanand, a Bharatiya Janata Party leader and president of the college where she studies, of sexual assault, harassment and intimidation. His lawyer has denied the allegations.
The 72-year-old Chinmayanand is a former minister from Uttar Pradesh and had previously faced charges in a rape case filed in 2011. Those charges were withdrawn in 2017.
The law student had said earlier that the case of extortion against her had been slapped to weaken her case against Chinmayanand.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, has a checkered history of its leaders being accused of sexual assault. In August, lawmaker Kuldeep Singh Sengar was sacked from the party after being accused of raping a 17-year-old girl in 2017.
In January 2018, two BJP lawmakers attended protest rallies held by Hindu organizations defending the accused in the rape and murder of an 8-year-old inside a Hindu temple. It was only after a national uproar that the BJP made the two ministers resign.