Govt suspends senior IAS officer Jitendra Narain, accused of rape in Andaman and Nicobar

The government Monday suspended with immediate effect senior IAS officer Jitendra Narain, accused of rape in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Two serving bureaucrats — Narain and R L Rishi, posted as Labour Commissioner in A&N Islands — have been accused of sexual assault and gangrape by a 21-year-old woman in Port Blair.

According to a Union home ministry statement, the government is committed to ensuring zero-tolerance towards the acts of indiscipline by its officials irrespective of their rank and status, especially with regard to incidents involving the dignity of women.

The ministry received a report on Sunday from the Andaman and Nicobar Police regarding the alleged sexual assault of a lady by Narain, when he was serving as chief secretary of the archipelago, and others.

Responding to the woman’s complaint on August 22 to the Director General of Police, A&N Islands, an FIR was lodged at the Aberdeen police station in Port Blair on October 1 and police have set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe her allegations, The Indian Express has learnt.

The SIT is headed by a Senior Superintendent of Police and the woman has been provided police protection.

Narain is currently Chairman & Managing Director of the Delhi Financial Corporation. When contacted in New Delhi, Narain had said he would not like to comment on the “absurd” allegations. Sources close to him had said he has sent a “detailed representation” to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Union Home Secretary, among others, denying the charges.

The woman’s complaint, accessed by The Indian Express, gives a detailed account of the violent sexual attack on her on two occasions at night in April and May at Narain’s official residence in Port Blair.

In her complaint, the woman has said that in search of a job, she was introduced to the Labour Commissioner through a hotel owner and the Commissioner took her to the residence of the Chief  Secretary. There, she said, she was offered liquor which she refused and was assured government employment. Subsequently, she alleged, she was brutally and sexually abused by the two men.

Two weeks later, she alleged in the complaint, she was again called at 9 pm by them to the Chief Secretary’s residence and the assault was repeated. Instead of the promised government job, she alleged, she was threatened with dire consequences if she spoke about the matter to anyone.

Narain has reportedly claimed, in his written denials, that the accusations were at the behest of local officers against whom he had taken action as Chief Secretary and they were behind a “malicious” campaign against him. He has said he would fully cooperate with the police and was willing to face trial.

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