Goa: The Goa government today ordered an inquiry into allegations that Tarun Tejpal, the founder of Tehelka, sexually assaulted a young journalist working for the investigative news-magazine.
The state’s police are also trying to contact the woman for a formal statement and may summon the editor, say sources, but the magazine’s managing editor Shoma Chaudhury says it is “not a case” as the woman has not pursued it; she wanted internal action.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told NDTV, “We have ordered a preliminary inquiry, it doesn’t require any complaint. If the allegations are found to be true, the police will register a case. From what I see, the crime has taken place.”
The woman journalist has alleged that she was assaulted by Mr Tejpal twice at a hotel in Goa where the Tehelka team was staying for an event the magazine organized earlier this month. On Wednesday, Mr Tejpal emailed his office that he was stepping down for 6 months as ‘atonement’, but activists say it is grossly inadequate.
The Goa police have asked the hotel to preserve footage of the time from CCTV cameras installed in the hotel. Sources say the police are also going through the emails exchanged between Mr Tejpal, the woman and Shoma Chaudhury.
A top police officer has said the allegations in the woman’s mails are serious enough to file a case.
The woman has said she was “deeply disappointed” by Tehelka’s response to her complaint. (read)
Activists have slammed Mr Tejpal’s move to “recuse himself” for six months. “I must do penance that lacerates me,” the editor had said.
A person close to the journalist has alleged that the woman was subjected to “an act of grave sexual misconduct” and said she was “completely shattered and emotionally scarred.”
“The act happened continuously over a period of time…and despite the girl pleading that she is almost the age of his daughter…She pleaded ‘please don’t do this’…her ‘no’ was not accepted…it happened once and it happened the next day,” the journalist’s confidante told NDTV.