Port Blair gangrape__The Special Investigation Team of the Andaman & Nicobar Police has determined that it has enough evidence to prosecute former A&N Chief Secretary Jitendra Narain and three others on multiple charges including rape and criminal conspiracy after establishing that the key accused in the Port Blair gang rape case destroyed evidence, corroborated statements of co-accused, specific electronic trails that buttress the victim’s statement, and evidence pointing to more than one victim.
Port Blair gangrape case
A 21-year-old Port Blair resident filed the complaint in the case and described how Narain sexually attacked her twice, once in front of the A&N police and once in front of the SIT. And how R L Rishi, the labour commissioner for the Union Territory at the time, took part in one interaction as well.
According to sources, the SIT has described how a protected witness in the case testified about additional ladies visiting the former chief secretary Jitendra Narain’s official house.
It is understood that the over 900-page chargesheet reveals that Sandeep Singh, the hotel’s owner, and Rishi, Jitendra Narain’s co-accused, have both attempted to conceal their responsibilities by corroborating the same sequence of events as provided by the gangrape victim in their disclosure statements. The three suspects are being held in Port Blair by the court.
It is believed that Narain and Rishi confronted one another throughout the course of the investigation, and a video of the confrontation was taken as proof. It is understood that around this time, Rishi confirmed his disclosure statement by saying that Narain had urged him to bring ladies to his home. Rishi further acknowledged taking a second victim to the Chief Secretary’s home.
According to sources, the SIT received two anonymous letters alleging the existence of additional victims, but they had yet to come forward due to social stigma and Narain’s personality.
The SIT acknowledged that it was aware of a complaint made against Narain by a victim who worked for the A&N Government, and that the department’s Vishakha Committee on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace was investigating the victim’s claims.
Corroborating evidence, including information about tower positions, call logs, route maps, and multiple digital trails, are said to have been obtained by the investigation team.
In addition to invoking key sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) relevant to the charges of gangrape, sexual intercourse by a person in authority, criminal intimidation, and criminal conspiracy levelled against Narain and two other accused, the special probe team is said to have added Section 201 IPC – for alleged evidence destruction and disappearance.
The SIT has learned that Narain disposed of two Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) of CCTV cameras at his official apartment, the location of the crime, as first reported by The Indian Express on October 28, 2022. According to investigators, he had placed the CCTV surveillance system in his bedroom, and the day after his transfer orders arrived, on July 21, 2022, he requested his private secretary to contact a CCTV specialist to wipe the whole film.
According to the investigation, Narain instructed the technician to format or delete the HDDs. Narain asked him to remove the two HDDs and give them to him after learning that the reformatting would take some time. After,the then-Chief Secretary instructed his secretary to arrange for the two HDDs to leave Port Blair. Narain departed for a new assignment in New Delhi three days later.
Rishi and Singh are thought to have travelled together from Port Blair to Kolkata on August 24, 2022, according to the SIT’s findings. Singh allegedly admitted to interrogators that he had thrown his cell phone into the river close to a dam after his detention on November 11, 2022. According to sources, marine divers were stationed near the dam, but they were unable to find the phone.
Related to this, no phone was discovered on Rishi after his arrest. Later, he acknowledged that he had left his phone in a neighbor’s car, but when the neighbor’s car was searched, no phone was found. According to reports, the SIT came to the conclusion that Rishi and Singh should also be charged with violating Section 201 IPC (destruction of evidence).
It has been claimed that employees at the Chief Secretary’s residence, including a protected witness, have said that Narain ordered that no entries be made for the cars transporting the ladies. They said that when the ladies were there, some of the personnel would be locked up in the kitchen and even the on-duty security officers would be restricted to an area behind the home.