Police take custody of emails in Tehelka matter - The New Indian Express

Police take custody of emails in Tehelka matter

Published: 24th November 2013 12:45 AM

Last Updated: 24th November 2013 12:50 AM

Tehelka Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhary was on Saturday questioned by Goa Police's special investigation team over the sexual assault allegation levelled by a woman journalist of the magazine against its editor Tarun Tejpal whose arrest is not being ruled out.

As the questioning went on, the victim issued a statement tonight suggesting she and her family were being subjected to pressure and intimidation at an "intensely traumatic" time to "protect" Tejpal.

Sources in Delhi said a 3-member team of Goa police led by Deputy Superintendent of Police Sammy Tavares went to the magazine's office in posh South Delhi locality of Greater Kailash Part II at around 4.45 pm and questioned Chaudhary and a couple of other employees of Tehelka.

Later, the team, which also includes Sunita Sawant who is the Investigating Officer in the case, also recorded the statements of Chaudhary and the other Tehelka employees questioned, they said.

The Tehelka magazine in a Twitter post said Chaudhury has shared all documents requested by Goa Police and that she will continue to assist with the investigations.

The sources said Goa police questioned Chaudhary about when the issue first came to her knowledge and about the sequence of events.

Police took into custody the e-mail trail between Chaudhary, the victim and Tejpal.

Other than that Chaudhary's mobile phone, the tablet phone and laptop were also screened by the police, according to the sources.

The three other employees of Tehelka, to whom the victim had first narrated the incident and also sent the copies of the e-mailed complaint to Chaudhary, will be questioned tomorrow after which Tejpal could be questioned.

The Goa police team also requested the victim to join the probe and formally file a complaint.

Replying to a question about Tejpal's arrest, a highly- placed source in Delhi Police said if the victim files a complaint, Tejpal would be arrested immediately.

"But unless that happens, Goa police team will want to tick all boxes before arresting Tejpal," the official said.

The police will try to improve its case before iniaiting any action against Tejpal, he added.

A team of Delhi Police, including Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav, was also present at the Tehelka office at the time of the questioning to provide logistic support to the Goa police.

The Goa Police Crime Branch team, which arrived here at around noon, is trying to collect e-mails of Tejpal in connection with the incident and the complaint of the girl to the magazine's management, following which the editor is likely to be questioned, a police official said and did not rule out his arrest.

A first information report has been filed against Tejpal booking him on rape and other charges.

In Panaji, Goa Police DIG O P Mishra said they have been told that there are no CCTV cameras in the elevator of the hotel where the woman journalist of Tehelka magazine was allegedly sexually assaulted by Tejpal.

"The hotel authorities have told us that they have no specific cameras in the elevator. We are getting a detailed layout of cameras (from other areas) from the hotel and make a detailed analysis," Mishra told reporters in Panaji.

According to a statement by the alleged Tehelka victim, a member of Tejpal's immediate family came to her mother's house in New Delhi and asked her (mother) to "protect Mr.Tejpal and demanded to know (1) who I was seeking legal help from and (2) what I wanted as the result of my complaint of sexual molestation by Mr.Tejpal".

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