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Tarun Tejpal case: Shoma Chaudhury ready to cooperate with Goa Police


Priyanka Dube, CNN-IBN
Nov 23, 2013 at 11:46am IST

New Delhi: Taking a U-turn, Tehelka Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhury on Saturday responded to Goa Police and has assured full cooperation in the sexual assault case against the magazine's Editor-in-Chief Tarun Tejpal. The magazine's Founder-Editor had allegedly sexually assaulted a woman journalist during the magazine's 'Think' Festival in Goa two weeks ago.

Tehelka tweeted, "Contrary to media reports, Tehelka Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhury has responded to Goa Police and has assured further cooperation."

ALSO SEE Sexual assault: Goa Police likely to quiz Tarun Tejpal in Delhi today

Shoma said, "There is a difference between going to the police to file criminal case and cooperating with them if they come to us. Of course, we will cooperate with the police. I am going to the police right now and we will fully cooperate with the investigations. The reports in the media are wrong."

In an interview to Editor-in-Chief of IBN18 Network Rajdeep Sardesai on Friday, Shoma had refused to appear before the police and said, "I will not go to Goa Police." As the incident happened in Goa, the state police is probing the matter.

Meanwhile, sources said a Goa Police team has reached Delhi to question Tejpal in a sexual assault case against him and they haven't ruled out arresting him. They are likely to ask the Tehelka Editor to join the probe after taking into possession the mails pertaining to this case including the complainant's statement.

The police already have as evidence the CCTV footage from the 5-star hotel where the assault allegedly took place. On Friday, the Goa Police has registered an FIR against Tejpal for attempt to rape and outraging the modesty of a woman.

Shoma had also said that she was not defending anyone and a committee has been formed to look into the charges against Tejpal. Shoma had said, "It was an institutional response that she was wanting and so I did. Now that she was not satisfied with the action, a committee has been formed to look into it."

On Tehelka claiming that the girl was not ready to complain against Tejpal, Shoma had said: "If this is molestation, the journalist is strong and I respect the fact that she has spoken up. It would be our presumption that she is not in a position to go to the police. It will be her decision whether to go to the police or not."

She had also asked how the steps taken by the organisation can be seen as an attempt to cover up the case. "I do not understand how an unconditional apology, Tejpal's stepping down and an independent inquiry into it be seen as Tehelka trying to cover-up the case," she said.

The Founder-Editor of Tehelka had allegedly sexually assaulted a woman journalist. While Tejpal has so far not spoken on the matter after it came in public, his internal mail on Wednesday called it a "a bad lapse of judgment, an awful misreading of the situation."

Tejpal stepped down on Wednesday for a period of six months after allegations of sexual assault were made against him by the woman colleague with Shoma Chaudhury taking charge in his absence. Sources said that the woman journalist had written a very detailed mail to Chaudhury reconstructing the alleged incidents.

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