Tehelka case: Goa Police says Tarun Tejpal will be arrested soon
New Delhi – Goa Police on Saturday said that Tehelka news magazine editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal, 50, could be arrested soon in connection with a sexual harassment case.
Police said that Tejpal’s letter of apology emailed to the young woman journalist whom he allegedly sexually assaulted, had provided them with new evidence.
A four-member team of the Crime Branch of Goa Police is already in Delhi to investigate Tejpal and Tehelka Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhury. They will also collect evidence regarding the case.
Goa’s Director General of Police Kishan Kumar said in Panaji: “The Goa Police team is doing its job. The investigation is a complicated process. It is not right to reveal anything at this moment. We are putting in all efforts to reach a conclusion on the case. The victim is very important to us. We will talk to her at the right time.”
The young woman journalist, who claims Tejpal sexually assaulted her in Goa earlier this month, said she will cooperate with the police investigation.
“I will not obstruct due process in any way,” she said.
Tehelka Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhury had earlier in the day disagreed with the suggestion or allegation that she was avoiding going to the police to depose on the matter.
While initially maintaining that it was not her place to go to the police, and that it was the young woman’s journalist’s right to decide how to proceed on the case, Chaudhury said: “The information to the media is wrong. I have sent a mail to the police. There is a lot of wrong information that is floating around. I cannot possibly be giving any evidence. I am cooperating with the Delhi Police.”
In Vadodara, Congress leader and jailed actor Sunil Dutt’s sister, Priya Dutt, said: “The Congress has taken a strong stand on the issue of protection of women. This ( Tehelka issue) should not be made a political issue. We all should come together and fight against harassment of women in workplaces. It could be anybody. The investigation must happen.
BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said: “Tarun Tejpal is nothing but a surrogate of the Congress Party.”
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has said that he will ensure that the police does not come under the influence of Mr Tejpal’s profile.
“I told the police that they should not bother about the stature of a person in deciding this matter. They should be treating a criminal as a criminal,” he said.
Tejpal has suggested that the young journalist’s version of events is not entirely accurate.
But in an email to her sent on Tuesday, he admitted to a “shameful lapse of judgement that led me to attempt a sexual liaison with you on two occasions on 7 November and 8 November 2013, despite your clear reluctance that you did not want such attention from me.”
The journalist has not filed a police complaint. The Goa Police was instructed by the state government to investigate her allegations, which were emailed by her to Ms Chaudhury on Monday. That email was leaked to the press.
The FIR against Tejpal lists rape by a person in a position of authority over the woman, an offence that carries a minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison.