Prayagraj, Oct 7 (IANS) The Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP), the apex body of Hindu saints, has taken a u-turn on the issue of Chinmayanand.
Mahant Narendra Giri, who had earlier declared that Chinmayanand would be externed from the saint community on October 10 when the ABAP meets in Haridwar, on Monday now said that they would continue to support Chinmayanand.
"Injustice has been done to Chinmayanand. There is a major conspiracy to malign the image of saints and we cannot leave Chinmayanand alone at this time. It appears that Chinmayanand was drugged when the video was made. The role of the law student in the matter is not above suspicion," he said.
He said that after the video in which the girl and her companions are seen asking for money went public, the saints decided that this was a conspiracy to frame Chinmayanand.
"We will now announce out support to Chinmayanand in the Haridwar meeting of ABAP. He is capable of dealing with the matter in legal terms but we will continue to extend our support to him socially," he said.
Chinmayanand, a former Union Minister, was arrested by the Special Investigation (SIT) from his ashram in Shahjahanpur on September 20 after a law student accused him of sexual misconduct and harassment and a video clip of him being given a massage by a girl emerged on the social media.
The girl was also arrested on September 25 and both are presently in Shahjahanpur jail.