Tarun Tejpal charged with rape, says he will co-operate in probe

Panaji, Nov 22

The Goa Crime Branch has booked for rape Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal who is accused of sexually assaulting a junior colleague in a Goa hotel earlier this month.

Tarun Tejpal, Editor-in-chief, Tehelka
Tarun Tejpal, Editor-in-chief, Tehelka

The suo moto first information report was filed by the crime branch officials under sections 354 and 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which deal, respectively, with criminal use of force on a woman and rape, a police official said.

Tejpal has been accused of sexually assaulting a junior colleague twice in a hotel elevator during a high profile conference organised by the weekly newspaper in Goa earlier this month.

“The Crime Branch is investigating the case. We are also in the process of sending a team to Delhi,” Director General of Police (DGP) Kishen Kumar said.

Will co-operate with the police : Tejpal

Breaking his silence for the first time after he was charged with sexual harassment and assault of a junior woman colleague, Tehelka magazine editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal Friday promised “full cooperation” in the police probe.

“I offer my fullest cooperation to the police and all other authorities, and look to presenting all the facts of this incident to it,” Tejpal, a well known journalist whose magazine is known for its investigative brand of journalism, said in a statement.

“I also urge the committee and the police to obtain, examine and release the CCTV footage so that the accurate version of events stands clearly revealed.

“In this case this anguish was accentuated by the fact that very many intimate people, professional and personal, were involved. For four days, as demanded by Shoma Chaudhury, the managing editor, and the recipient of the complaint, I have tried to do what was honorably demanded of me.

“On Tuesday I issued an apology for the alleged misconduct, as desired by the journalist through Shoma Chaudhury. On Wednesday I stepped down from the editorship of Tehelka and removed myself from the office premises. On Thursday I learnt of the formation of the complaints committee,” he added.

After pressure mounted Thursday for action against Tejpal for allegedly molesting a woman colleague in a Goa hotel early this month when the Tehelka group was having its annual Think Fest, the Goa police filed a criminal case Friday.

In an apology mail to Shoma Chaudhary on Wednesday night, Tejpal announced that he was stepping down from his post for six months. Shoma Chaudhary then wrote to her colleagues, with the appended “atonement” note of Tejpal, saying that “there was an incident which has been dealt with internally.” – IANS

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