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Tarun Tejpal case: no CCTV footage from hotel elevator

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Story Dated: Saturday, November 23, 2013 09:57 hrs UTC

In a possible setback for the sexual assault probe against Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal, police said on Saturday that CCTV cameras were not installed in the hotel elevator where Tejpal is alleged to have sexually assaulted his junior colleague twice.

A special investigation team of Goa Police on Saturday reached Delhi to question him in the case.

“There are no CCTVs in the elevator,” deputy inspector general of police OP Mishra told reporters at a press conference at the police headquarters.

The victim in her complaint to Tehelka managing editor Shoma Chaudhury had said that Tejpal had sexually assaulted her twice in the elevator in the Club House section of the Grand Hyatt five-star resort during the high-profile ‘ThinkFest’ conference on November 7 and 8.

The issue became public on Wednesday when internal emails of Tejpal, Chaudhury and the victim were leaked.

Tejpal in a statement released on Friday requested investigators to “examine and release the CCTV footage so that the accurate version of events stands clearly revealed”.

The Tehelka editor-in-chief, 50, faces a sentence ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment if found guilty.

An IANS report, however, said CCTV footage from outside the elevator does show the victim leaving the elevator “in a hurry” on one occasion.

The four-member Goa Police team, which arrived in Delhi at noon, is likely to record the statement of Chaudhury before further action, according to a senior Goa police official.

They are trying to collect emails of Tejpal in connection with the incident and the complaint of the girl to the management.

They will also try to meet the victim and get an independent statement from her, the official said.

The Delhi Police, meanwhile, said it will extend full support to the special investigation team of Goa Police.

Meanwhile, Chaudhary said on Saturday that she had responded to Goa Police and assured them of cooperation in investigations into the sexual molestation charge against the editor-in-chief of the magazine.

“I have given all the information demanded by Goa Police and even talked to them regarding any more help needed from my side,” Shoma Chaudhary said, refuting reports in the media that she had not been cooperative with investigators.

She said a wrong version had been floating in the media till now that she was not cooperating with the police.

“Look at the factuality and the chronology of the evidence I have given to them. I have interacted with my colleague journalist and the editor-in-chief,” Chaudhary said.


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