Saturday, December 10, 2022

Port Blair homestay raided in gang rape case involving ex-chief secy

A homestay in Port Blair’s Dollygunj was searched by the police on Sunday in connection with the gang rape of a 21-year-old woman in which former chief secretary of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Jitendra Narain is an accused, officials said.
The gang rape survivor accompanied members of the Special Investigation Team (SIT), formed to probe the case, to the homestay during the search, they said.
The SIT along with a forensic team and the survivor reached the homestay around 12.30 pm for the search operation, they added.
The room where the woman was taken to by the homestay’s owner was examined by the investigators, officials said.
Besides Narain, the homestay’s owner, Labour Commissioner RL Rishi and a police inspector were named in the police case lodged in connection with the gang rape.
The team was seen coming out of the homestay with envelopes. When approached by journalists, the investigators refused to make any comment.
“The survivor was asked to identify the place and the room where she was taken to by the homestay’s owner,” said a relative of the woman who was accompanying her.
Narain, who was questioned on Friday and Saturday, is likely to be interrogated on Monday as well, a source said.
He is unlikely to leave Port Blair till Friday as the airport on the island will be shut from Tuesday because of runway repair works.
Narain is being kept at a private resort. 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 Centre suspended him on October 17.
The woman claimed that 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 alleged 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 from 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.

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