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Tehelka case: Woman journalist willing to record statement

Tehelka case: Woman journalist willing to record statement

Panaji: The Tehelka journalist, who had accused its editor Tarun Tejpal of sexually assaulting her, has shown willingness to travel to Goa and record her statement before the authorities, a senior police official said Tuesday.

The woman, who was contacted by Investigating Officer Sunita Sawant over phone Monday, has shown willingness to co-operate, a senior official said on condition of anonymity.

"If the woman travels to Goa, her statement would be recorded before the magistrate under IPC section 164 (recording of confessions and statements)," the official said.

Although Goa police are yet to meet the woman, who lives in Mumbai, the official said the first conversation between the investigating officer and her was very fruitful.

"She has narrated many things which are not mentioned even in the email. That could go against Tarun Tejpal," a police official said.

The woman is ready to fully co-operate with the investigating agency, the official said.

Goa Deputy Inspector General of Police O P Mishra had told reporters in Panaji yesterday that the investigating officer in the case had contacted the woman but refused to divulge details, claiming police wanted to protect her privacy.

The woman told the investigating officer that she had delayed in filing a case against Tejpal as "he was a high profile person."

The woman had also resigned from the magazine to be "free from any kind of pressure."

Goa police will be contacting her again today, seeking her statement before the magistrate. "The details like when she will come can be known only after that," the official said.

Meanwhile, a senior police official rubbished reports that a lookout circular had been issued against Tejpal.

"How can we issue lookout circular against him when we have not even summoned him in the case?" he said.

The police are proceeding systematically in the matter and would go ahead only after properly recording the statement of the woman which is very crucial before examining Tejpal, he said.

Goa police had on November 22 lodged an FIR against Tejpal under IPC sections 376 (rape), 376 (2)(k) (rape by a person of a woman in his custody taking advantage of his official position) and 354 (outraging modesty) in connection with the incident.

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