Hotel owner, conduit to former Chief Secretary Jitendra Narain, arrested in connection with Port Blair rape
Woh desh ka bada aadmi hai…woh khaas hi ladki dekhta hai (“He is one of the country’s high and mighty…and he looks for only special girls).” A telling excerpt is provided from a two-minute conference call recorded by the 21-year-old victim who Jitendra Narain allegedly raped, the then Chief Secretary of Port Blair.
Her conversation is with Sandeep Singh alias Rinku, a hotel owner, who introduced her to R L Rishi, the then Labour Commissioner.
The Andaman and Nicobar Police arrested Narain last week, while Rinku was arrested in Karnal in Haryana on Sunday and taken into custody by the Port Blair Police on Monday. Rinku and Rishi had both been awarded cash awards by the A&N Police after being denied bail earlier in the day.
According to officials, the interception of telephone calls from persons known to be in contact with Rinku, as well as some cash withdrawals, led to the hotelier’s capture. As of yet, Rishi has not been arrested.
First reported by Deccan Era on October 15, the audio clip formed an essential part of the evidence handed over by the 21-year-old woman to the Special Investigating Team (SIT).
Rinku purportedly instructed her never to name Narain and to keep her visits secret during that phone call. “Tum confidential hai…naam phone par kabhi mat lena…phone tap bhi hote hain (you are confidential…don’t mention his name over the phone, phones may be tapped).” Before her visit, where Narain and Rishi are alleged to have sexually assaulted her, she was informed that this was the case.
During an interview with The Indian Express, the woman claimed Rinku had “picked” her and introduced her to Rishi, who then accompanied her to the Chief Secretary’s residence.
As a local guide, she had taken a group of domestic tourists for dinner at Desi Lounge, Rinku’s hotel in Port Blair, where she met him.
In her account, Rinku asked her why she was performing “small jobs” and that he could arrange something “permanent” for her very shortly. Following this, he provided her with a tour of Rishi’s office, where she met the Labour Commissioner, Rishi. Approximately one month later, she received a telephone call (which she recorded), and Rishi drove her to the residence of the Chief Secretary on VIP Road in Port Blair.
The Sessions Court in Port Blair revoked Narain’s bail on November 10; Rinku and Rishi have been on the run since October 1, when the FIR was filed.
According to the Southern Range Crime Branch of the Delhi Police, their teams searched more than 100 hotels and guesthouses in Haridwar and Rishikesh following Rinku’s arrest.
The Delhi Police stated that they arrested him while he attempted to escape in a taxi from Karnal to Bhubaneshwar, Odisha. According to the police, Rinku fled Port Blair and was hiding in Delhi, Kolkata, and Dhariwal after fleeing the area.