A woman journalist who last year accused former Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal of sexually assaulting her wrote to the Goa Police on Wednesday, saying she was being harassed and intimidated by Tejpal and his family members.
The woman, who has quit the magazine since the scandal broke, told the police that her former employer and his family were deliberately revealing her identity with the aim of harassing her. Sources said an email containing a photo of the woman journalist was being circulated.
“We categorically deny these allegations,” Tarun Tejpal’ daughter said. “They are in the same malicious vein as the false intimidation charges levelled against us previously. Intimidation charges gravely damage our chances for bail.”
Deputy inspector general of police, OP Mishra, did not confirm whether the police had received the woman journalist’s complaint.
The email in question features the woman and Tejpal’ images and says “her lies should be exposed”. It also insinuates that she did not look unhappy after the alleged assault.
Tejpal’s legal team said they had not received any official intimation of the woman journalist's complaint.
The 50-year-old founder editor of Tehelka was arrested in November last year after his colleague alleged he molested her twice in a hotel elevator during an event in the seaside holiday hotspot of Goa.
Tejpal later claimed whatever happened between the two was a “consensual act”.
The woman journalist’s reaction on Wednesday came after an officer, who is investigating the sexual assault case, also claimed she was being threatened by Tejpal during the course of the inquiry.
Tejpal later denied the claim, saying he was shocked at the charges levelled by the investigating officer Sunita Sawant. He said the allegation reinforced his fear that he could not expect an unprejudiced and fair investigation under Sawant.
This is not the first time the woman journalist has claimed of being threatened by Tejpal. Just days before Tejpal was arrested last year, she had said that a member of Tejpal's family came to her mother's house in New Delhi and asked her (mother) to “protect Tarun Tejpal and demanded to know who I was seeking legal help from".
“This visit has placed tremendous emotional pressure on my family and I at an intensely traumatic time. I fear this may be the beginning of a period of further intimidation and harassment,” she had said in her statement then.
Tejpal was recently denied bail in Panjim after Sawant filed a complaint of intimidation before a magistrate. The magistrate’s court on Tuesday extended Tejpal’s judicial custody by 14 days.
He was arrested on November 30 and spent the first 10 days in police custody; he has been in judicial custody since December 11. He recently refuted claims that he had admitted his guilt in the sexual assault case.