Tejpal remanded in 6-day police custody, grilling begins

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Panji: Tarun Tejpal, accused of sexually assaulting a woman colleague, was today sent to police remand for six days following which Crime Branch officials began grilling him.

Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Shama Joshi ordered six days’ police custody of Tejpal after the prosecution sought his remand for 14 days.

Public prosecutor Frances Tavera sought police custody of Tejpal saying his custodial interrogation was needed because of the nature of the crime involved.

Tejpal’s lawyers opposed the demand for police custody saying he was cooperating with the Crime Branch.

A woman journalist employed with Tehelka had accused its editor Tejpal of sexually assaulting her twice on November 7 and 8 in a lift in a five star hotel in Goa. He has been booked under Sections 354A (outraging the modesty of a woman) and 376 (2)(K) (custodial rape) of IPC.

Tejpal, who was arrested at 9 PM yesterday after his anticipatory bail plea was rejected by a District and Sessions, was brought to court by Goa police crime branch before noon today.

In her 25-page order, District and Sessions Anuja Prabhudesai has yesterday observed that, “The statement of the victim and the documents in the form of emails etc., details of which need not be reproduced here, prima facie indicate that the applicant, who was her mentor and father figure, had not only outraged her modesty but had misused his position, betrayed her trust and violated her body.”

The judge had said the applicant is not only an influential person but the record prima facie indicates that the applicant tried to influence the family of the victim and the possibility of the applicant interfering with the evidence cannot be ruled out.

Immediately after the magistrate’s order today, Tejpal was taken to the Crime Branch headquarters at Dona Paula for interrogation.

Police sources said that serious interrogation of Tejpal began only today.

Earlier, Tejpal spent the night in a police lock-up here with three persons, including two murder accused. He was referred for mandatory medical check-up at Goa Medical College near here at 12:30 midnight.

The 50-year-old-journalist refused to talk to the media after emerging from the medical college. He was accompanied by his lawyer and his family joined him outside the police headquarters, before he was taken to the lock-up at around 2 AM.

Police sources added that he remained calm after his arrest, during medical check-up and also in the lock-up.

He was supplied with a new pair of clothes by his family, as allowed by the ourt.
The Crime Branch sleuths posted their guards outside the lock-up.

The dingy lock-up is located inside the Police Headquarters in Panaji, overlooking the office of the Director General of Police (DGP).

Tejpal’s arrest came ten days after it became public that he had allegedly sexually assaulted the woman.

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