Tarun Tejpal sexual assault case: As it happened

The Crime Branch of the Goa Police on Saturday is likely to question Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal, who is accused of allegedly sexually assaulting a woman journalist.

Updated: Nov 23, 2013, 23:42 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

10:40 pm: Tehelka staff may be questioned

Sources have told Zee Media that police may question three Tehelka staff in regard to the sensational case.

9:32 pm: Tejpal FIR also mentions Robert De Niro

Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal`s name appears to have illustrious company in the FIR which charges him with sexual assault.

Along with the journalist-novelist, the name of Robert De Niro, the legendary actor who played Don Corleone in "Godfather 2" finds inadvertent mention in the first information report, a copy of which is in a news agency`s possession.

De Niro was the biggest star at the Tehelka Thinkfest, a high profile conference held in Goa last week, at the five-star resort Grand Hyatt, where a junior employee of the weekly newspaper has accused Tejpal of sexually assaulting her twice in an elevator.

"Let`s go wake up Bob (Mr De Niro) and I asked him why he wanted to do that. I then realised that Mr Tejpal was simply pressing buttons on the lift`s panel to make the elevator stay in circuit, preventing it from stopping anywhere, and for the doors to open," says the FIR quoting extensively from the written complaint sent by the victim to Tehelka`s managing editor Shoma Chaudhury.

The FIR was filed by police inspector Sunita Sawant at 2 pm on Friday.

The other reference to De Niro is in the FIR`s following page where the victim has been again quoted from her complaint to Chaudhury as saying: "The door opened on the second floor, on Mr De Niro`s floor - and he (Tejpal) said again - `The universe is telling us something` to which I said `I`m taking the stairs` and started to walk out. He pulled me back in, sensing that I was on the verge of hysteria - by this point, he was totally comfortable physically manhandling me, but sensing my sheer panic."

8:40 pm: `Delhi police to provide security to journalist`s family`

A news channel says the Delhi Police have contacted the mother of the journalist and will provide security to her family.

8:15 pm: Don’t approach me or my family members, says assaulted journalist

Here is the full statement issued by the young woman, who accused Tehelka`s founder Tarun Tejpal of sexually assaulting her at a hotel in Goa earlier this month:

On the night of 22nd of November 2013, a member of Mr Tejpal`s immediate family came to my mother`s house in New Delhi, asking my 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, that was made to the Tehelka management earlier this week.

This visit has placed tremendous emotional pressure on my family and I at an intensely traumatic time. I fear this may be the beginning of a period of further intimidation and harassment.

I call upon all persons connected to Mr Tejpal and his associates to refrain from approaching me or my family members.

6:58 pm: Tejpal`s arrest imminent, says Delhi Police

The arrest of Tarun Tejpal is imminent, sources in the Delhi Police said on Saturday.

A three-member team of Goa Police, which arrived here around 11:30 am, reached Tehelka office and scrutinised documents, including the laptop and iPad of the magazine`s managing editor Shoma Chaudhury.

The Goa Police team, which was accompanied by Delhi Police personnel, questioned Chaudhury and some other employees of Tehelka.

Sources in Delhi Police said that the Goa Police team can also question Tarun Tejpal, and might arrest him, following orders from senior officials of that state`s police force.

A Delhi Police team has also been deployed at Tejpal`s residence.

4:52 pm: Goa Police arrive at Tehelka office in Delhi

A three-member team of the Goa Police has arrived at Tehelka office in Delhi to probe into the sexual assault case against Tarun Tejpal.

4:50 pm: No pressure on cops, says Goa CM

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar ruled out any political pressure in the investigation in the case of alleged sexual assault by Tarun Tejpal against a woman colleague.

"I am not monitoring the case. In fact, I was briefed about the case by the police after the filing of the first information report (FIR)," Parrikar said.

The Chief Minister said he has told police not to be bogged down by any pressure, however important the accused is.

He said that the direction of the probe into the case would be decided by the Investigating Officer.

2:30 pm: Law should take its own course: LS Speaker

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar Saturday said the law should take its own course in the Tarun Tejpal alleged sex assault case and whatever needs to be done should be done expeditiously.

"I think law should take its own course and whatever needs to be done according to law must be done expeditiously," she told reporters on the sidelines of an interactive session organised by MMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

1:15 pm: DIG refuses to comment on the possibility of Tejpal’s arrest

Divulging details on Tarun Tejpal case, Deputy Inspector General of Police OP Mishra said that Goa Police have obtained CCTV footages from the hotel and are examining it.

However, the DIG said that there was no specific CCTV camera in the elevator but the officials are examining other cameras.

The DIG requested the media to be sensitive and careful about the identity of the alleged victim.

"I have seen news in one of the news channels and I do welcome this. This is an encouraging gesture for the investigating agency from the victim. But I will not discuss anything," Mishra told reporters, urging the media not to "concentrate focus of reporting on the nitty-gritty of investigation".

Media reports quoting the victim`s willingness to depose before the police are an "encouraging sign", the police official said.

Mishra confirmed that an email request has been sent to Shoma Shoma Chaudhury asking her to cooperate with the probe. “The ambit of investigation will cover all things coming up".

Mishra refused to comment on the possibility of Tejpal’s arrest.

12:30 pm: Delhi Police assures `full support` to Goa Police

Delhi Police said it will extend full support to the special investigation team of Goa Police which arrived in the capital in connection with the probe into alleged sexual assault of a Tehelka journalist by its Editor Tarun Tejpal.

Delhi police sources said that the Goa police team would first be meeting Shoma Chaudhury, the managing editor of Tehelka to record her statement and collect emails of the victim in which she had complained about the alleged sexual assault by Tejpal.

11:30 am: Goa Police reaches Delhi

A special investigation team of Goa Police today reached Delhi in connection with the probe into alleged sexual assault of a Tehelka journalist by its editor Tarun Tejpal and will seek to record the statements of the two along with that of magazine`s managing editor Shoma Chaudhury.

The team is led by Deputy Superintendent of Police Sammy Tavares and includes a woman. Police are trying to collect e-mails of Tejpal in connection with the incident and the complaint of the girl to the management following which he will be questioned, the official said and did not rule out his arrest.

11:00 am: Will meet Police, says Shoma Chaudhury

Tehelka managing editor Shoma Chaudhury on Saturday said that she would be meeting Goa Police officials. She also said that she had sent some information related to Tarun Tejpal case to thepolice yesterday.

"I have been cooperating and the information in the media is wrong. Right now, I am going to meet the police and yesterday I have already sent the information the police needs. I have sent a mail earlier in the morning to them and I will be sending stuff," she told reporters as a special team of Goa police flew to Delhi.

Also Read: Ready to provide info to police, says Chaudhury

10:00 am: ‘Tejpal’s resignation not enough’

Reacting to the incident, Goa State Women Commission Vidya Shet said that Tarun Tejpal stepping down from the post of editor of Tehlka is not sufficient.

9: 00 am: Managing editor will cooperate: Tehelka

Tehelka magazine tweeted that its managing editor Shoma Chaudhury will to extend full cooperation to the Goa Police officials.

8: 30 am: Goa Police to question Tejpal

The Crime Branch of the Goa Police on Saturday will question Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal, who is accused of allegedly sexually assaulting a woman journalist.

Police yesterday filed a First Information Report (FIR) and booked Tejpal on rape charge following an allegation by a journalist colleague that he sexually assaulted her during an event a fortnight ago.

The Goa Police have booked Tejpal for rape and criminal assault, acting suo motu on the basis of the hotel`s CCTV footage and a leaked copy of a complaint filed by the victim to Shoma Chaudhury, the managing editor of Tehelka.

Felt a sense of outrage and betrayal: Chaudhury

The Managing Editor of Tehelka magazine, Shoma Chaudhury, said that she had felt a sense of outrage and betrayal when she had first heard the charges made against Tarun Tejpal by a female employee.

Shoma said, "I do feel a sense of outrage and betrayal. I was devastated by the act. I confronted Tarun angrily."

She added, "Tarun had a different version of the event. I overruled his account and asked for his unconditional apology." She also said that she was not going to put out the Tarun`s version, revealing that he had sent a personal mail to the victim.

"Whether consensual or not, it was a grave transgression. So institutionally, one is not disputing her version," she told reporters.

"It`s a misconception that there was a delay. I received a formal complaint only Nov 18, and took action as requested within three days. My response within those three days was to make sure all that she asked from me, and the institution, was addressed immediately," she said.

Tejpal agrees to cooperate in investigation

Tejpal has said he is ready to extend fullest cooperation in the matter. ejpal issued a statement today saying he was ready to cooperate with the police in sexual assault case and offered to present all facts.

Tejpal, 50, was accused of sexually assaulting a junior woman colleague twice in a hotel elevator during the Tehelka ThinkFest, a high profile conference organised by the weekly magazine in a north Goa hotel earlier this month.