NEW DELHI/PANAJI, November 24: A Goa police team probing the alleged sexual assault case against Tehelka Editor-in-Chief Tarun Tejpal, which recorded the statements of its managing editor and three other journalists to whom the victim had narrated the incident, plans to question Mr. Tejpal once they record the victim’s statement and evaluate relevant evidence. The investigation has thus moved into a critical phase.
The team returned to Goa on Sunday evening, carrying hard disks, a laptop and an iPad used for communication with the victim and Mr. Tejpal after the incident was reported to managing editor Shoma Chaudhury.
The police on Saturday video-recorded Ms. Chaudhury’s statement. She was questioned for almost nine hours. “Investigations are under way to ascertain why she did not report the matter immediately for registration of a case,” said a police officer, adding that the communication between Ms. Chaudhury, Mr. Tejpal and the victim would eventually form large part of the evidence they would reply upon.
In a statement to the media, Ms. Chaudhary expressed satisfaction with the proceedings, and said she was extending full cooperation. Back in Panaji, meanwhile, Deputy Inspector General of Police O.P. Mishra on Sunday that additional charges of criminal intimidation could be slapped on Mr. Tejpal.
“Many things have emerged from the interrogation of Tehelka employees. As the team comes back we will take all these details into consideration and additional charges will be added if necessary,” he said.
Asked whether the team tried to establish contact with Mr. Tejpal, Dr. Mishra said the authorities would get in touch with him at an appropriate time. He declined to reveal details about the possible interrogation of the victim.
The police warned of action against anyone posting details about the victim on social networking sites.