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Sexual assault case: Goa police to quiz Shoma Chaudhury, take victim's statement

Sexual assault case: Goa police to quiz  Shoma Chaudhury, take victims statement

Panaji/Delhi: A special investigation team of Goa Police on Saturday flew to 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.

A senior Goa police official said the crime branch team led by a deputy superintendent will record the statement of Chaudhury before further action.

The police are trying to collect emails of Tarun 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.

Police will also be trying to meet the victim and get an independent statement from her, the official said.

Goa Police had on Friday filed an FIR against Tejpal under Sections 376 (rape), 376 (2) (rape by a person of a woman in his custody taking advantage of his official position) and 354 (outraging modesty) of IPC in connection with the incident that took place during an event in Goa a fortnight ago.

Conviction under Section 376 of IPC entails a maximum of life term in jail.

Tejpal had issued a statement offering to extend the "fullest cooperation" to the police and all other authorities.

Meanwhile, Shoma Chaudhury on Saturday said she will be meeting the police and was ready to provide all information sought by them.

"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.

On the contention that she can be charged with destruction of evidence, Chaudhury said no such case is made out and repeated her defence that she had got the editor "to step down and apologise" despite "the fact that there is different version".

Her remarks on Friday that Tejpal had a "different version", had drawn the ire of activists, who said it amounted to character assassination of the victim.

"If I am accused of destruction of evidence which is not the case as again and again I am telling you, the public record will show. I'll play itself out.

"The law will take its course.... I have already said that getting the editor to step down or an unconditional apology despite the fact that there is a different version is not destruction of evidence," she said on Saturday.

The issue came into limelight when the email by the woman journalist of his magazine alleging sexual assault was made public and Tejpal announced on Wednesday night that he was "recusing" from his job for six months.


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