Govt suspends with immediate effect senior bureaucrat accused of rape in Andaman and Nicobar
The Modi government on Monday suspended with immediate effect senior IAS officer Jitendra Narain, who is accused of rape in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Ministry of Home Affairs informed.
MHA today placed Jitendra Narain, a 1990-batch senior IAS officer of AGMUT Cadre & then Chief Secretary of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, under suspension with immediate effect over allegation of an alleged sexual assault of a woman, Joint Secretary (Union Territory Division) Ashutosh Agnihotri said.
The action was taken a day after the MHA received a report on October 16 from Andaman and Nicobar Police regarding the alleged sexual assault, Agnihotri informed.
As the report indicated the possibility of grave misconduct & misuse of the official position on the part of Jitendra Narain, Union Home Minister directed to take immediate strict action against the officer concerned, as per law, Agnihotri informed.
The Central government is committed to ensuring zero tolerance towards indiscipline acts by its officials, irrespective of rank & status, especially involving dignity of women. FIR filed and action in criminal case being taken separately by SIT of Andaman & Nicobar Police, Agnihotri mentioned.
An FIR has been registered and action in the criminal case is being taken separately by the Special Investigation Team of the Andaman and Nicobar Police.
As per the allegation of the woman, she was gang-raped by two officials, including the former chief secretary, in Andaman and Nicobar Islands at his official residence.
Following the allegation, a Special Investigation Team has been constituted, headed by a Senior Superintendent of Police, for investigation and a case has been registered at the Aberdeen police station.
The woman alleged that the other officer who was involved in the rape was Labour commissioner R L Rishi and they indulged in the alleged crime on two occasions.
When contacted, Narain told PTI last week that he cannot comment on the issue as "the matter is sub judice".
The woman lodged the complaint with the police on August 21 in which she gave a detailed account of the alleged sexual attack on her twice - in April and May - and requested for preserving the CCTV footage of the then chief secretary's residence for evidence.
She has also requested a Test Identification Parade (TIP) of the employees present at the residence of the official.
The complainant has also recorded her statement under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) before the chief metropolitan magistrate detailing the allegation.
Anyone giving a statement under this clause of the CrPC will face perjury charges in case it turns out to be false.
The woman claimed that she was in search of a job and was introduced to Rishi through a hotel owner who allegedly took her to the residence of Narain.
At Narain's residence, the woman claimed, she was offered liquor which she refused. She claimed that they assured her of a government job but, subsequently, she was brutally sexually abused by the two men.
The woman also alleged that two weeks later she was called to the chief secretary's residence again and the assault was repeated.
She said that instead of giving the promised government job, she was threatened with dire consequences if she revealed the matter to anyone.
Officials said that she has also filed a separate complaint with the police against a local journalist, who allegedly gave hints about her identity, and a police officer for leaking information about the case.
According to sources, Narain joined as chief secretary of Andaman and Nicobar Island in March 2021.
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