The arrest is the second major embarrassment for BJP in Uttar Pradesh state in as many years [File: Oinam Anand/AP]

A former federal government minister of India and member of the ruling right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been arrested after he was accused of sexually assaulting a student, police and his lawyer said.

Swami Chinmayanand, 73, who was an internal affairs minister during a BJP-led coalition government from 1999 to 2004, was “arrested this morning and the court has since sent him to judicial custody for 14 days”, Naveen Arora, Uttar Pradesh state’s inspector general of police, told reporters on Friday.

Chinmayanand runs several educational and welfare institutions in the BJP-ruled northern state of Uttar Pradesh and the alleged victim, now 23, was a

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