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Andaman ex-chief secretary questioned for 8hrs regarding 'gang rape'

Andaman ex-chief secretary questioned for 8hrs regarding gang rape

Port Blair: Jitendra Narain, a former chief secretary of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, was questioned by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) about an alleged gang rape of a woman here on Friday for more than eight hours, according to an official.

The police's Special Investigation Team (SIT) was established to look into claims that a 21-year-old lady in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands was led to the chief secretary's home by the promise of a government job and then raped there by senior 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 was brought to the Police Lines in the morning for questioning which lasted over eight hours, the official said.

He was taken inside the Police Lines in Port Blair through a rear door to avoid protesters.

"A heinous crime was committed against the woman. We want justice for her," a protester, carrying a placard denouncing Narain as a 'rapist', said.

The former chief secretary left the premises using the same door after the questioning ended.

There is a possibility that Narain, who is staying in a private resort here, will be grilled again on Saturday, according to a source.

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.

Meanwhile, Andaman & Nicobar Islands BJP president Ajoy Bairagi condemned the incident involving Narain and demanded that the SIT conduct a fair and impartial probe into the matter.

"The BJP condemns such incidents and wants good governance in these beautiful Islands," he said.

With PTI inputs

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