Probe begins in Tehelka rape case, CCTV footage outside lift a 'crucial proof'

Nov 24 2013, 10:58 IST
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Founder and editor-in-chief of Tehelka, Tarun Tejpal has been accused of raping a colleague during a media event in Goa. Founder and editor-in-chief of Tehelka, Tarun Tejpal has been accused of raping a colleague during a media event in Goa.
SummaryPolice conducted search at Tehelka office and seized Shoma Chaudhury's laptop and hard disk.

A day after registering an FIR against the founder and editor-in-chief of Tehelka, Tarun Tejpal, accusing him of raping a colleague during a media event in Goa, a three-member team of the Goa Police Crime Branch questioned managing editor Shoma Chaudhury in Delhi on Saturday. The team also conducted a search at the

Tehelka office and seized Chaudhury’s laptop and hard disk.

Shortly after arriving in Delhi at around 3 pm, the Goa Police team, comprising DSP Sammy Taveras, Inspector Sunita Sawant — the investigating officer and also the complainant on behalf of the victim — and Head Constable Datta, questioned Chaudhury at the Goa Sadan. The team also sought her help in retrieving the emails sent by the victim.

Chaudhury then proceeded to the Tehelka office, where the Goa Police team, accompanied by the local police and Crime Branch personnel, arrived at around 4.45 pm, and were there until late in the night. Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav was among the officials present at the Tehelka office.

While Chaudhury's statement was recorded, police sources said other office employees, including those whom the victim had sent a copy of her complaint, were also questioned. According to these sources, the statements of these employees are likely to be recorded on Sunday.

Goa DGP Kishen Kumar confirmed that Tejpal was yet to be contacted. “The investigation will not be complete in just a day... The investigating officer of the case will contact them,” he said. Sources said Tejpal was likely to be questioned after the Goa Police collect the “evidence” from the Tehelka office and take the statement of the victim, who is yet to join the probe.

Earlier in the day, Chaudhury said, “I have been cooperating with the Goa Police... 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.”

According to sources, Chaudhury told the police that Tejpal was ready to join the probe. These sources said that while Tejpal’s arrest was imminent, the police had also tried to contact the victim. The investigating officials are also reported to be probing Chaudhury’s role in any destruction of evidence.


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