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Chinmayanand to lose sainthood status

September 23, 2019

Chinmayanand, the former Union Minister and BJP leader arrested on charges of intimidation and sexual harassment of a law student, will lose the status of sainthood. The Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP), which is the highest decision making body of saints, is all set to expel him from the community.

Mahant Narendra Giri, President, ABAP president, said that a meeting was held on Saturday where a decision was taken to expel him.

A formal meeting of the Akhilesh Bhartiya Akhara Parishad will be held in Haridwar on October 10 and this decision will get the seal of approval from the general body. Chinmayanand has accepted his misdeeds and there could be nothing more shameful for the saint community. He will be externed until the day he is exonerated from the court. - Mahant Narendra Giri, President, Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP)

73-year-old Chinmayanand holds the title of Mahamandaleshwar of the Maha Nirvani Akhara. He will now lose this position too and when he gets expelled from the saint community, he can no longer add 'Sant' or 'Swami' to his name.

Chinmayanand has had a major role to play in the Ayodhya movement. He participated in the Ram temple movement and visited Ayodhya frequently.

He was arrested from his ashram in Shahjahanpur on Friday and is now on 14-day judicial custody. The controversy was triggered after a video was posted on the social media by the alleged victim about sexual harassment by him.

Earlier too, in 2011, Chinmayanand was accused of rape by a resident of his ashram who said he had sexually exploited her on many occasions. She lodged an FIR but no action was taken against Chinmayanand, mainly because of his political connections.

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