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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014

Woman journalist’s mother files complaint against Tejpal kin, accused asked not to leave country

HT Correspondent and Agencies, Hindustan Times   New Delhi/Panaji, November 26, 2013
First Published: 14:27 IST(26/11/2013) | Last Updated: 10:59 IST(27/11/2013)

The mother of the young woman journalist, who was allegedly sexually assaulted by Tarun Tejpal, on Tuesday filed a complaint with the Delhi police against an immediate family member of the Tehelka Editor alleging "intimidation" over the case.
 
Delhi police sources said the mother of the journalist came to Pandav Nagar police station in East Delhi and filed a complaint against the member of the Tejpal family.
 
On Saturday, the victim had issued a statement saying she and her family were being subjected to pressure and intimidation at an "intensely traumatic" time to "protect" Tejpal.
 
Police said they have forwarded the complaint to its legal department to decide how it should be handled.
 
Yesterday, the journalist had accused Tejpal and managing editor Shoma Chaudhury of a "cover-up" and resorting to "tactics of intimidation, character assassination and slander".
 

Earlier in the day, the Goa police recorded the statement of the woman reporter who has charged her former boss and Tehelka founder Tarun Tejpal with molesting her earlier this month.

It was learnt the reporter, who gave her statement at her Mumbai residence, might travel to Goa to record her statement before a magistrate, as required by law.

Mounting pressure on Tejpal, Goa police also issued an “immigration check post alert” so that he can’t leave the country.

Also, the Delhi High Court refused to grant interim protection against arrest to the accused editor. It asked the Goa police counsel to file a reply to Tejpal’s anticipatory bail plea it will hear on Wednesday.

In the plea, Tejpal said the encounter with the woman employee was "light hearted bantering".

"The colleague (complainant of the case) continued to party and was completely normal and friendly all throughout stay in Goa," Tejpal’s bail plea reads.

"She was at every party and social events through the conference and stayed out late into the night," he said and added the nature of the meeting can be verified by perusing the CCTV footage of Hotel Hyatt, Goa, where the reporter alleged Tejpal assaulted her.

In a sequel to the resignations by four senior journalists of the magazine last week, senior Tehelka editor Rana Ayyub quit the magazine on Tuesday over how the episode was handled by its managing editor Shoma Chaudhury.

Questioned by a news channel about the contents of the reporter’s resignation letter submitted on Monday, Chaudhury said the complainant’s statements “cannot be a greater travesty of truth”.

“I didn’t go to the cops because of my feminist principles… she too didn’t want to go… if she is now saying that she wanted to go, it is a lie,” Chaudhury said.

The Goa Police had on November 22 lodged an FIR against Tejpal under sections 376 (rape), 376 (2)(k) (rape by a person of a woman in his custody taking advantage of his official position) and 354 (outraging modesty) of IPC in connection with the incident. Conviction under section 376 of IPC entails a maximum of life term in jail.

The issue came into limelight when an email by the magazine's woman journalist, alleging sexual assault, was made public and Tejpal announced on November 19 that he was "recusing" from his job for six months.

On November 24, a three-member Goa Police team, which had come to Delhi, questioned Tehelka managing editor Chaudhury and three employees who were contacted by the alleged victim to corroborate her version.

The police have seized a hard disk, transcripts of emails exchanged among Tejpal, Choudhury and the woman and other documents from the Tehelka office.

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