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Sexual abuse allegation against 2 bureaucrats, Port Blair woman says assaulted on govt job pretext

The 21-yr-old woman has accused Andaman & Nicobar's former chief secretary & its labour commissioner of sexually abusing her twice & threatening her with dire consequences if she complained.

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New Delhi: A 21-year-old woman from Port Blair, capital of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, has accused two serving bureaucrats — the union territory’s former chief secretary and its labour commissioner — of sexually abusing her between April and May this year, on the pretext of giving her a government job.

Sources in Andaman and Nicobar police told ThePrint that according to the woman’s complaint, she was introduced to R.L. Rishi, labour commissioner of Andaman & Nicobar Islands through a hotel owner. Rishi then allegedly took her to the residence of Jitender Narain, who was then Chief Secretary. The woman has alleged that she was called to the Port Blair residence of Narain, where she was offered liquor. She was subsequently allegedly sexually abused by the two men.

The complainant has further alleged that the assault was repeated two weeks later, when she was again called at 9 pm by the duo to the former chief secretary’s residence. She has also alleged that she was threatened with dire consequences if she dared to complain against the officers.

Following the incident, the woman approached the Andaman & Nicobar police with a complaint, but a case was not registered against the officers, the complaint claims.

Narain, who is currently chairman and managing director of the Delhi Financial Corporation, has denied the allegations in written responses to the government.

According to sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the matter is being looked into. Narain was asked to give a formal explanation to the ministry in which he has defended himself saying that he was not even in the UT on the dates mentioned by the victim in her complaint. He has accused the victim of filing a “false complaint” against him at the behest of some officer against whom he had taken action while serving as chief secretary of the union territory, sources in the government told ThePrint.

ThePrint reached both Narain and Rishi over phone, but received no response till the time of publication of this report. The copy will be updated once a response is received.

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‘Delay in registration of case’

According to sources in Andaman and Nicobar police, a case was registered only on 1 October, after the woman approached the judiciary and the chief judicial magistrate, Port Blair, ordered a probe in the matter at the Aberdeen police station in town.

According to sources a case has been registered against the two officers, as well as the hotel owner — identified as Rinku by police sources — among others.

“The matter is under investigation. A special investigation team (SIT) has been set up to probe the allegations. A detailed statement of the woman has been recorded before the SIT and also the magistrate,” said a source in Andaman and Nicobar police.

A second source in the police said that initial investigation into the allegations of the woman have been corroborated with evidence, including CCTV footage from Narain’s residence.

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)

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