Shahjahanpur (Uttar Pradesh): Former Union minister Chinmayanand celebrated his birthday in a big way at the Mumukshu ashram here Wednesday.
Chinmayanand, who is out on bail in a case of sexual harassment and blackmail, met hundreds of supporters who came to greet him on his birthday, listened to a Ramayana recitation and praised those who participated in the Ram temple movement.
“People who did kar seva for Ayodhya are the real warriors,” he said. He added that they should be honoured as a temple is now being constructed because of them.
According to ashram officials, a recitation of the ‘Sundarkand’ from Ramayana was held on Tuesday evening to mark the beginning of celebrations. Visitors were given a special ‘prasad’ made for the occasion.
The former union minister also participated in an event organized by the local Hindu Yuva Vahini unit at the ashram.
Incidentally, on Wednesday, the Supreme Court had dismissed a plea challenging the High Court order that granted bail to Chinmayanand.
Chinmayanand, whose trust runs the Shahjahanpur law college where the complainant studied, was arrested on September 20 last year under section 376 C of the IPC, a charge short of rape. The section 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 alleged victim, a law student, was charged with allegedly trying to extort money from Chinmayanand. The High Court had granted her bail December 4.
The Supreme Court had stepped in after the 23-year-old woman went missing for a few days in August last year 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, arrested Chinmayanand about a month later.
The SIT also arrested the student after a complaint that she and her friends had tried to extort Rs 5 crore from Chinmayanand, threatening to make public videos showing her giving massages to him.