Goa police attach Tehehlka laptops, record statements

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 23 November 2013 18:14 IST

The team of Goa police today attached laptops of both – accused Tarun Tejpal and the victim girl – from the office of Tehelka in Delhi while recording statements of the staffers would begin.

The team, led by DySP Sammy Tavares and the investigating officer Sunita Sawant, visited Tehelka office as soon as they landed in the national capital.

They immediately attached laptops used by Tehelka editor-in-chief Tejpal, the accused and the victim girl, who was allegedly sexually assaulted by him.

Tejpal is facing charges of rape (Sections 376), rape by a person of a woman in his custody taking advantage of his official position(376-2) and outraging modesty(section 354) of IPC.

The incident believed to have taken place in Goa, during THiNK Fest held two weeks ago, at Grand Hyatt Resort at Bambolim.

The investigating team has attached the computers to basically verify the email sent by the victim to Tehelka managing editor Shoma Chaudhury, describing the whole incident as well as other communication exchange.

Based on the email, the team also plans to interrogate other staffers, whom the victim girl shared her grief with for two consecutive nights after the incidents took place.

Chaudhury, who had asserted on Friday that they would not go to police on the issue as it was for the victim to decide on it and was accused of not cooperating with police, said on Saturday she was in touch with the cops and was ready to provide all necessary information to them.

"There is a difference between me going to the police and initiating a case that my colleague may not want voluntarily ... (and) the state initiating a case with which I will, of course, cooperate and I have been cooperating and the information in the media is wrong," Chaudhury said.

"Right now, I am going to meet the police and yesterday (Friday) I have already sent the information the police need. I have sent a mail earlier in the morning to them and I will be sending stuff," she told reporters.

On the contention that she can be charged with destruction of evidence, Chaudhury said no such case is made out and repeated her defence that she had got the editor "to step down and apologise" despite "the fact that there is different version".

Her remarks on Friday that Tejpal had a "different version", had drawn the ire of activists, who said it amounted to character assassination of the victim.

"If I am accused of destruction of evidence which is not the case as again and again I am telling you, the public record will show. I'll play itself out.

"The law will take its course.... I have already said that getting the editor to step down or an unconditional apology despite the fact that there is a different version is not destruction of evidence," she said on Saturday.

The issue came into limelight when the email by the woman journalist of his magazine alleging sexual assault was made public and Tejpal announced on Wednesday night that he was "recusing" from his job for six months.

 (With PTI inputs)

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