A “sex for work” scam has been uncovered during the investigation into allegations of gang rape and sexual harassment against former Andaman and Nicobar Chief Secretary Jitendra Narayan and Commissioner of R. L. Rishi’s work.
According to the Indian Express report, the evidence found by the Andaman and Nicobar Police Special Investigation Team (SIT) during the investigation of the case of gang rape and sexual assault perpetrated by the 21-year-old woman, key witness statements point to the alleged ‘work for sex‘ racket.
Job for sex racket
Under this scam, more than 20 women were allegedly taken to Jitendra Narayan’s home in Port Blair over a period of more than a year. Investigators have been told that some of them were given jobs in exchange for sexual exploitation.
In this case, Jitendra Narayan can appear before the SIT on October 28. This was the last date set by the Calcutta High Court for her appearance.
In the same month, both officers were suspended with immediate effect. Senior police officials told the Indian Express that the two officers’ call data records and the order in which the 21-year-old recounted the two days of events in the complaints matched.
The sources also told the newspaper that everything was first wiped from the CCTV hard drive installed in the chief secretary’s house and then the digital video recorder also disappeared during the officer’s transfer from Port Blair to Delhi.
It is believed that the PWD officer and the local CCTV expert recorded his statements regarding the alleged deletion of this electronic evidence and corroborated the allegation.
Arguing against Jitendra Narayan’s bail statement, Andaman and Nicobar’s lawyer had submitted to the Delhi High Court that the victim’s statement was corroborated by a ‘protected witness’ and electronic evidence. The October 20 order also said that “evidence has been tampered with several times” by petitioner Jitendra Narayan.
Jitendra Narayan explanation
Rejecting the accusations, Narayan has said in a letter to the Home Ministry and the Andaman and Nicobar Administration that a “conspiracy” is being made against him, according to the Indian Express. He also stated that “he has evidence that will prove that the case is false.”
Jitendra Narayan has disputed one of the two dates recorded in the FIR, saying that he was not in Port Blair on that day. He cited plane tickets and details of his previously scheduled meetings to substantiate this claim and said that he was in Delhi that day. On Wednesday, Jitendra Narayan’s lawyers filed an application in the sessional court, claiming that this evidence can be tampered with.
However, it is believed that the 21-year-old’s relatives told the police that there was some discrepancy in the dates given by the victim and have clearly said everything in her statement to the SIT.
When contacted by the New Delhi newspaper, Jitendra Narayan refused to comment on the latest developments, saying the matter was pending in court. Jitendra Narayan’s lawyer, who filed the new application in Port Blair on Wednesday, also declined to comment.
Jitendra Narayan was suspended by the Home Ministry a day or two after news of the accusations broke. Narayan was granted provisional bail until November 14. Another officer, RL Rishi, was also suspended and arrest warrants were issued against him after his bail application was rejected in Port Blair.
Police seized officer’s phone-laptop
A team from the Andaman and Nicobar Police along with the Delhi Police arrived at Narayan’s home in New Delhi on 18 October to serve him with a notice to appear before the SIT. Although Narayan was not home at the time, the investigation team took his laptop and mobile phone from him and sent him to Port Blair for forensic examination. However, even in this evidence, the DVR player, which the police team is looking for, was not found.
Andaman and Nicobar DGP Neeraj Thakur told The Indian Express that at the moment, the priority is to investigate the gang rape complaint filed by the 21-year-old woman in the FIR filed on October 1.
Neeraj Thakur told Express: “We have formed the SIT and we are confident that the team has gathered all the evidence. The investigation is progressing, we will make a strong case in court.”
During the investigation, the most important statements those registered with the SIT include the staff of the former principal secretary. Statements from his driver, cook and other servants have also been recorded. The SIT has classified the security of at least one of them as ‘protected witness’.
Officers sexually assaulted
The 21-year-old woman told The Indian Express that she had given “up-to-the-minute information” to SIT. She said that both times she went to the officer’s home, she saw that the kitchen door was locked from the outside so staff could stay inside and the ‘driver’ served her food and snacks.
The woman victim said that as soon as she entered her house they asked her to keep her mobile phone in a stored container. Rinku, a hotel owner, introduced the woman to the Rishi Labor Commissioner.
She said: “I was repeatedly assured by the chief secretary and the labour commissioner that my job had been confirmed. After that, all this happened and when Rishi told me that the chief secretary had been transferred and that I would have no more work. If I could get it decided to go to the police.
The woman’s relatives said she would now go to the High Court against the provisional bail granted to Narayan by the Calcutta High Court.
SIT officials have said they have gathered all possible evidence and are ready to file a charge sheet within the next few weeks.
In her complaint, the woman had said that in search of work, she met Rishi through Rinku and Rishi took her to Narayan’s house. The woman said that she was asked here to drink alcohol, which she refused. She was secured a government job. The woman alleged that both officers sexually assaulted her.
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