My family is being intimidated, says Tehelka sexual assault victim

Nov 27 2013, 13:05 IST
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The victim of the Tehelka sexual assault case complained of intimidation and said she fears that it would only increase in the coming days (AFP image) The victim of the Tehelka sexual assault case complained of intimidation and said she fears that it would only increase in the coming days (AFP image)
SummaryA team of Goa police is in Delh. It is currently in talks with Shoma Chaudhury, the group's managing editor.

The female journalist who accused colleague and Tehelka founder and editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal of sexually assaulting her, issued a statement on Saturday that said pressure was being exerted on her and her family at an 'intensely traumatic' time to withdraw the stand she has taken.

She said one of Tejpal's family members had visited her house and asked her mother to save the accused and divulge legal details and the victim's motives in pursuing the case.

A team of Goa police is already in the premises of the Tehelka office and is reportedly questioning Shoma Chaudhury, the group's managing editor, to ascertain if she was complicit in the said offence. It is unclear whether and when Tejpal may be taken into custody.

Here is the full statement of the victim:

"On the night of 22nd of November 2013, a member of Mr Tejpal’s immediate family came to my mother’s house in New Delhi, asking my mother to protect Mr. Tejpal and demanded to know 1) who I was seeking legal help from and 2) what I “wanted” as the result of my complaint of sexual molestation by Mr. Tejpal, that was made to the Tehelka management earlier this week.

This visit has placed tremendous emotional pressure on my family and I at an intensely traumatic time. I fear this may be the beginning of a period of further intimidation and harassment.

I call upon all persons connected to Mr. Tejpal and his associates to refrain from approaching me or my family members."

In a damning revelation, the journalist had said Tejpal had assaulted and raped her while the two were in the lift at a plush hotel in Goa. The publication group was holding a conference there and staying at the hotel.

Although Tejpal was initially defiant and called the episode as a set-up, he resigned from his top post for six months as, in his own words, he felt “ impelled to atone further”. He had alleged that there were political overtures in the case.

National reaction has been sharp. There has been a nationwide call to take the accused into custody. Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parikkar said the police is investigating the case and independently and no pressure has been brought upon it from external agencies.

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