Ex-Andaman chief secretary grilled for second day over gang-rape charge

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Andaman and Nicobar Police started questioning the senior official around 11 AM at Police Lines in Port Blair
Last Updated 29 October 2022, 12:29 IST

Former chief secretary of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Jitendra Narain was on Saturday grilled for the second consecutive day in connection with the alleged gangrape of a 21-year-old woman, an official said.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Andaman and Nicobar Police started questioning the senior official around 11 AM at Police Lines in Port Blair.

The interrogation was underway for more than six hours.

Narain was brought inside the Police Lines premises through a rear gate to avoid protesters. The practice was followed on Friday as well as agitators carrying placards staged a protest at the main gate.

The SIT, headed by senior IPS officer Monika Bhardwaj of the Andaman and Nicobar Police, had questioned Narain for over eight hours on Friday.

The investigation team was constituted to probe allegations that the woman was lured to the chief secretary's residence with the promise of a government job and then raped by top officials including Narain.

Labour Commissioner R L Rishi was also accused of raping the woman while a police inspector and a hotel owner were named in the FIR as accomplices in the crime.

The police inspector was also interrogated by the SIT on Friday.

Narain is being kept at private resort here. The senior official arrived here to face questioning following a Calcutta High Court order.

The FIR was registered on October 1 when Narain was posted as the chairman and managing director of the Delhi Financial Corporation. The government suspended him on October 17 with immediate effect.

The woman said as her father and stepmother did not take care of her financial needs, she needed a job and was introduced by some people to the labour commissioner as he was close to the then chief secretary.

She claimed in the FIR that the chief secretary appointed "7,800 candidates" in various departments in the administration of the islands "on the basis of recommendation only" and without any "formal interview".

The woman alleged that she was lured to the chief secretary's home with the promise of a government job, and then raped there on April 14 and May 1.

A vacation bench of the Calcutta High Court comprising justices Bibek Chaudhuri and Prasenjit Biswas has granted interim protection against arrest to Narain till a date that will be fixed by the circuit bench in Port Blair on November 14, on its first date of sitting after the Durga Puja vacation.

The court also noted that Narain, who was transferred to Delhi on July 21, has declared that he is ready and willing to cooperate with the investigation.

A joint team of police officers from Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Delhi had raided the house of Narain on October 18, following which he filed an application before the Delhi High Court praying for transit anticipatory bail.

A single bench of the Delhi High Court granted interim protection from arrest to Narain till October 28.

(Published 29 October 2022, 12:29 IST)

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