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HindustanTimes Sat,12 Jul 2014

Tehelka case: Tejpal booked for rape; Shoma responds to Goa Police, assures cooperation

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Panaji/New Delhi, November 22, 2013
First Published: 13:54 IST(22/11/2013) | Last Updated: 10:22 IST(23/11/2013)

A day after Goa police booked Tehelka founder Tarun Tejpal for allegedly raping and outraging the modesty of a woman colleague at an event earlier this month, @Tehelka on Saturday morning tweeted that managing editor Shoma Chaudhury has responded to Goa Police and has assured further cooperation.

Later on the day, Chaudhury told reporters: "There's a difference between filing a complaint and cooperating with the police. I'm going to the police right now."

Earlier on Friday, Goa director general of police Kishan Kumar said in Panaji: “An FIR has been filed on charges of rape and outraging of modesty. This is one part of the process of investigation and law will take its course," 

The charges relate to Sections 376 (rape), 376 (2) (rape by a person of a woman in his custody taking advantage of his official position) and 354 (outraging modesty) of Indian Penal Code, he said.

A Goa police team will be arriving in New Delhi on Saturday to question Tejpal.

Asked whether Tejpal would be arrested, Kumar said, “It is a process under law which has logical consequences. I cannot say how the investigating officer will do.”

READ: Tehelka is not hushing up allegations against Tejpal: Shoma Chaudhury

The police have also got the closed-circuit video footage from the five-star hotel in Goa where Tejpal allegedly assaulted the reporter on November 7 and 8 during Tehelka's THiNK 2013 event.

Since the reporter did not come forward to lodge a complaint, the state police took suo moto notice of the woman’s complaint emailed to the magazine’s managing editor Shoma Chaudhury.

Terming the accusations as an “extremely serious matter”, Union minister of state for home RPN Singh tweeted that “the home ministry has sought all details of Tehelka case from Goa government".

Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar said the police have complete authority to investigate the sexual assault case against Tejpal and they should not worry about the stature of the person involved.

"Stature does not count. What counts is the crime. You go by what is correct in law," the CM said.

Asked about Tehelka's position that they would not cooperate in the probe until the victim lodges a complaint, Parrikar said, "I don't think that is the legal position. Police will take appropriate action."

READ: After flak, a shift in Tehelka stance

He said a Supreme Court judgement makes it mandatory for the police to file an FIR in accordance with law in cognisable offences.

After the FIR was lodged, Tejpal said he offered his “complete cooperation to police and all other authorities”.

READ: Tejpal wants CCTV footage of 'incident' at Goa hotel

He also urged police to "release the CCTV footage to reveal the accurate version of events”, while Parrikar and DGP Kumar said Chaudhury was not cooperating with the probe.

But Chaudhury told mediapersons that Tehelka has set up a "complaints committee" headed by eminent feminist and publisher Urvashi Butalia to probe the incident.

Fearing law and order disruption, a Delhi police team reached Tejpal's house here this afternoon to provide security against possible protest.

ABVP activists shout slogans as they protest against Tarun Tejpal outside Tehelka's office in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

The deployment was made at Tejpal's Jangpura residence in New Delhi as a "precautionary measure" after members of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) staged a protest outside the magazine’s office in Greater Kailash earlier in the day.

Delhi police will have to provide logistical support to a Goa police team coming to question Tejpal, but won't be directly involved in the matter.

READ: Tainted Tejpal loses chance at PB chair
READ: Tejpal creates Tehelka, Goa begins sex assault probe
READ: Tejpal's resignation more than the apology woman wanted: Tehelka's Shoma Chaudhury
READ: Boycott characterless Tejpal: Ramdev urges media

View video: Goa cops file FIR against Tarun Tejpal


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