Panaji/Mumbai/New Delhi: A team from Goa Police today questioned Tehelka managing editor Shoma Choudhury and other staff members in connection with the twin sexual assault charges made by a principal correspondent of the magazine against her editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal in Goa.
Shoma Choudhury disclosed on Twitter that she has handed over all e-mails sent by the victim and Tarun Tejpal to the Goa police team.
Goa Police team recorded the statements of Choudhury and other staff members of the magazine.
Meanwhile, in Panaji, Goa police today said that there were no CCTV cameras inside the elevetors of Hotel Grand Hyatt in Bambolim which could establish what Tarun Tejpal did with the sexual assault victim inside.
Goa Police DIG O P Mishra told reporters: “The hotel authorities have told us that they have no specific cameras in the elevator. We are getting a detailed layout of cameras (from other areas) from the hotel and make a detailed analysis,” Mishra said CCTV footage has been formally received from the lobbies of the hotel but these could not be immediately examined because of technical and other logistics for analysing and they were trying to get in touch with agencies for the purpose.
Mishra refused to comment on the arrest of Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal against whom the charge of sexual assault has been levelled by a principal correspondent.
“I would not like to comment anything on arrest of Tejpal,” Mishra said, adding that the police are following the standard procedures of investigations in this case.
Mishra said that they have received CCTV footage of the hotel during the days when incident have alleged to have happened.
Responding to a question whether police have stumbled on any evidence, he said that the veracity of the case is being established.
The DIG said that the police have already communicated to Tehelka Managing Editor Shoma Chowdhary asking for the detailed documents from her. “By the time our team left from here, we had not received any communication from her,” he said.
Replying to yet another question on the statement of the girl that she is ready to cooperate with the police, Mishra said that the statement is welcomed and we will provide all the cooperation for her if she wants to depose.
In Delhi, a three-member team of Goa Police led by DSP Sammy Tavares recorded the statements of Tehelka managing editor Shoma Choudhury and other staff members.
The victim is based in Mumbai, and Goa police have filed the FIR slapping charges of unnatural sex, attempt to rape, threatening and hurting the woman’s modesty and sentiments.
Goa police will also take the statements of Tarun Tejpal’s wife Geetan Batra, and all those staff members who attended the Think festival and stayed with the victim in the hotel International Centre of Goa.
Police may also question Tarun’s daughter Tiya who on hearing about the incidents remarked that her father was a “womanizer”. She even lashed out at her father over telephone, reports said.
The cctv footage at Hotel Grand Hyatt in Bambolim, Goa, has given police crucial leads about both the sexual assault incidents.
The cctv footage, police sources said, clearly shows Tarun entering the lift with the victim at Block number 7 elevator area front.
Nearly 15 minutes later, the victim is seen coming out of the lift, with Tarun following her. Both are walking toward Grass Dinner Area. From there, the victim is seen leaving out of the gate and taking a taxi, as Tarun goes towards the Performance Area.
In the November 8 cctv footage, Tarun is seen with the victim, catching hold of her hand and going inside the lift at Block 7 ground floor. Seven minutes later, the victim is seen coming out with Tejpal chasing her. The victim goes towards Grand Club and from there to Capiz bar area with two British citizens.
In another cctv footage, the victim is seen talking to a woman for nearly 10 minutes and later both went their own ways.
Goa police will go to Mumbai and record the victim’s statement, which will be vital to this case.
A senior police officer said, after going through cctv footage, mails generated by the victim, media reports on SMSes exchanged by the victim with Tarun, and after collecting more direct evidences and material from witnesses, police will take a call on arresting Tehelka eidtor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal.