HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014

Tehelka row: 'Lift was in circuit for a short period, not for 15 minutes'

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Panaji, November 29, 2013
First Published: 00:13 IST(29/11/2013) | Last Updated: 01:29 IST(29/11/2013)

Footage from the corridor outside the lift of the five star hotel where former Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal allegedly sexually assaulted a journalist shows the lift in circuit for a brief period of time, said an investigator who has seen the recording.

An earlier report had claimed that the camera recorded Tejpal and the journalist entering the lift at 12.15am on November 7 and coming out at 12.30am, suggesting that the lift had been in circuit for 15 minutes. The lift of the block where the alleged assault took place has only two floors.

However, the latest revelation is that the lift was in circuit much less than the 15 minutes claimed earlier, between the entry and exit timings.

“It was a short period of time, but I cannot say how long,” said the source. “You see the girl coming running out; she appears to be distressed.”

The hotel’s lifts are not fitted with cameras, and the police have had to rely on piecing together the sequence of events through cameras fitted outside.

The area where the incident is alleged to have taken place is relatively secluded. The two-storey building is one of the several scattered blocks on the hotel premises for guests.

OP Mishra, deputy inspector general of police, Goa, has consistently refused to comment on details of the investigation, including about the analysis of the CCTV footage.

Sources added that the Tehelka journalist who had been allegedly assaulted was still in Goa. “She was taken to the scene of crime, a five star hotel in Bambolim, for the panchnama and to reconstruct what happened on November 7 and 8,” sources added.

The hotel authorities refused to allow visitors into the hotel all day long on Thursday.

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