In the last few days, several allegations of sexual assault against activists associated with the farmer protests have surfaced. On April 7 we reported how several victims had taken to social media to narrate their ordeal. The allegations started with a post against one Mohammad Zuber (_emmzedd on Instagram). In the due course of time, other activists, associated with the farmer protests were also named. This included names like Varun Chouhan (member of Trolly Times), Antarpreet Singh (leader of Students For Society), and Manish Kumar (President, Swaraj For Youth).
5th allegation of sexual assault surfaces against Varun Chouhan
So far, in our report, we detailed the account of four victims who accused Varun Chouhan (member of Trolly Times) of sexual assault. Now, “The Kaur Movement”, who had taken the initiative to publish stories on behalf of the other victims, has come up with the ordeal of the fifth victim who allegedly fell prey to Varun Chouhan’s salaciousness.
As accounted by the victim, she met Varun Chouhan in 2019 on Instagram. She was 19-years-old then. The victim recollected how Varun had extorted money for her, a sum of around 2-3 lacs, some of which the accused haven’t returned to the victim till date.
She recounted how Varun forced her to get involved with another woman in a threesome. He convinced her that indulging in a threesome was all normal and nothing but “exploring your sexuality”. The victim says that since she was only 19, an age group that is known to be the most vulnerable when it comes to sexual or physical abuse, she started believing, that all this was ‘normal’.
The victims furthered that Varun used her Instagram account, without her knowledge, to send her unsolicited pictures to people whom he thought ‘would be interested in threesomes’.
In her story, she mentioned how she was convinced that Varun was in love with her until she came to know that he was two-timing and cheating on her. Whenever she tried confronting Varun after that, he started shouting and crying, making it impossible for her to talk with him. Due to all this stress, her mental health deteriorated to a point that it became difficult to survive, said the victim.
Later, the victim happened to find out how Varun deceived her all along. She also met the other victim who had fallen prey to Varun Chouhan’s trickery. The victim confirmed that she personally knows at least 4 of Varun’s victims and there are several others whom she has no account of.
Saying so, the victim lamented that the “filthy guy” is in possession of a lot of personal pictures and videos of hers as well as his other victims. “I have seen a few of them and he even happened to share with girls and boys to lure them”, said the victim, adding that she is hopeful that this “whole movement will take strict action against this guy and can spread the word so other women are not harmed by him”.
Varun Chouhan has been actively covering the ‘farmers’ protests under Trolley Times. In our earlier report, we mentioned how he has been named by four different victims. After he was accused of sexually assaulting a victim, “The Kaur Movement” took the initiative to publish stories on behalf of the victims. The Kaur Movement had not published any names of the victims to ensure their privacy.
Trolley Times refused to take any step against Varun
Shockingly, despite the details of so many allegations being out on the public platform, Trolley Times refused to take any step against Varun. They acknowledged that they know about the allegations against Varun but refused to take any action against him “in lack of an official complaint.”
Manish Kumar’s victim castigates Swaraj India and Yogendra Yadav for shielding the accused
In the same April 7th report, we had also mentioned the case of another victim who had leveled similar allegations against Manish Kumar, President, Youth 4 Swaraj. It has to be noted that Youth 4 Swaraj is the youth wing of Yogendra Yadav’s Swaraj India.
The victim has claimed in her post that she informed about the sexual assault to Yadav and other senior members, but no one paid heed to her. In her post, the victim said that the case of Varun made her feel empowered to talk about what had happened to her. She had to resign from Swaraj India (Yogendra Yadav’s organization) after its members mentally traumatized and abused her.
Today, the victim took to Twitter to express her disgust at Swaraj India and its chief Yogendra Yadav who she claims is merely pretending to conduct an enquiry against his employee and her assaulter Manish Kumar.
“If a fair enquiry has been conducted, then it’s their responsibility to come out with a transparent statement and their stand on the harasser”, wrote the victim furthering, that “also if @_SwarajIndia has dismissed all the allegation in the name of enquiry, and has resorted to victim-blaming, then it should further come out and apologize on their horrendous behaviour”.
She condemned Yogendra Yadav for shielding his staff who mentally traumatised and abused her, and asked Yadav to “morally resign from public life”.
Swaraj India issues statement, claims that the case of sexual assault was dealt with strictly and closed in February 2021
After remaining silent for the three-four days, Swaraj India has released a statement today, claiming that the complaint against the sexual harassment case was already dealt with by the organisation. It called out the “false and malicious” propaganda that was being spread regarding the complaint received and adjudicated by the internal complaints committee (ICC) of Swaraj Abhiyan under the Sexual Harassment Act.
It said that the case came to the fore on September 17th, 2020. Since the incident happened more than a year before the current farmer’s movement started, it had no connection with the Jan Kisan Andolan or the Swaraj Abhiyan.
Statement of Swaraj Abhiyan— Swaraj Abhiyan (@swaraj_abhiyan) April 9, 2021
Re: False & Malicious Propaganda in Connection with a Settled Complaint of Sexual Harassment.
Swaraj Abhiyan and all its allied organizations are committed to zero tolerance for sexual harassment and to the ideals of gender justice. pic.twitter.com/pN4OKIUdbv
For the uninitiated, Swaraj Abhiyan is an Indian political party that began on 14 April 2015. It was formed by Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan in Gurgaon following their expulsion from the Aam Aadmi Party.
Swaraj Abhiyan further wrote in the statement that a special committee was constituted to look into the matter, which had submitted its final observation in the case to the concerned parties on February 18, 2021. “All finding of the Special Committee was accepted and recommendations were implemented in full. The case stands closed”, read the statement.