Former Andaman chief secretary suspended for rape

The Center on Monday suspended senior IAS officer and Delhi Financial Corporation’s Chairman and Managing Director Jitendra Narayan for his alleged involvement in a rape case when he was the Chief Secretary of Andaman and Nicobar.

Ministry (of Home Affairs) received a report from Andaman and Nicobar Police regarding the alleged sexual harassment of a woman on 16.10.2022. Jitendra Narayan, IAS (AGMUT: 1990), then Chief Secretary, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and others. As indicated in the description, the possibility of severe misconduct and abuse of official position on Mr Jitendra Narayan, IAS (AGMUT: 1990), Union Home Minister, directed to take immediate strict action against the officer concerned as per law. Accordingly, Sh. Jitendra Narayan, IAS (AGMUT: 1990), has been suspended with immediate effect and disciplinary action has been ordered against him, a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said.

“The government is committed to ensuring zero tolerance towards acts of indiscipline by its officers irrespective of their rank and status, especially concerning incidents involving the dignity of women. An FIR has been registered by the SIT of Andaman and Nicobar Police, and separate action is being taken in the criminal case.

The Deccan Era had reported on October 15 that two bureaucrats, including Narayan, had been accused of sexual assault and gang rape by a 21-year-old woman in Port Blair.

Based on the victim’s complaint, an FIR was registered on October 1 at Aberdeen police station in Port Blair against Narayan and RL Rishi, posted as labour commissioner in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The police have constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the allegations.

When contacted in New Delhi while filing the first report on the matter, Narayan had said he would not like to comment on the “absurd” allegations. Sources close to him had been told that he had sent “detailed representations” to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Union Home Secretary, among others, denying the allegations.

Rishi was not available for comment, and his office told The Deccan Era that he was on “medical leave”. The Deccan Era has confirmed that the license plate of the car mentioned by the woman – in which she was taken to Narayan’s house – is registered in Rishi’s name.

In the FIR (No. 165/2022), the complainant stated that CCTV footage should be collected from Narayan’s house, and she would identify her employees who should be interrogated.

The woman’s complaint, accessed by The Deccan Era, gives a detailed account of the alleged violent sexual assault on Narayan’s official residence in Port Blair on two occasions in April and May.

The woman said in her complaint that she was introduced to the labour commissioner through a hotelier in search of a job, and the commissioner took her to the chief secretary’s residence. There, she said, she was offered liquor which she refused and assured government employment. Subsequently, she alleged that two men brutally and sexually abused her.

Two weeks later, she alleged in the complaint, she was called again to the chief secretary’s residence at 9 pm, and the attack was repeated. She alleged that instead of being promised a government job, she was threatened with dire consequences if she spoke to anyone about the matter.

In his written rebuttal, Narain has reportedly claimed that the allegations were at the behest of local officials against whom he acted as chief secretary and that they were behind a “malicious” campaign against him. He said he would cooperate fully with the police and is ready to face trial.

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