Police have received all documents for investigations in the Tehelka sex scandal which has provided new information. Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhury, has come forward to say that she has handed over everything requested from her for further investigation.
Chaudhury was reported to have refused to go to the police in Goa where the incident had taken place. Despite this, she maintains this was not the case and made a statement saying “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.”
She declared that her actions were to be in compliance with the victim’s wishes, and that although she condemns sexual harassment she would not take any further action, unless the victim put forth a formal complaint. However, she also described the event as an “untoward incident.”
The alleged victim is an employee for the news magazine Tehelka. She has now shown willing to conform with procedures and agreed to help the investigation. Police are confident that she will give a statement of the sexual assault.
Shoma has recently given all documents to the police which has uncovered new information for the case to proceed. She was also asked to surrender her laptop, iPad and computer hard disk. Prior to this the Goa Police have stated that the arrest of Tarun Tejpal is forthcoming, because of fresh evidence found in an apologetic email to the victim.
Tejpal wrote in his email that he apologized for his “shameful lapse of judgement” that led to his sexual misconduct on multiple occasions, despite her clear unwillingness to participate in such attention. He later went on to say that he “did at one point say to your contention that I was your boss,” but that he wanted to point out that as soon as he spoke those words he retracted them.”
The charges against Tarun Tejpal are catagerized as rape, which mean a prison sentence of 10 years to life.
With recent events, such as the leader of the central department for the Investigation of India comparing rape to gambling, India has been criticized for it’s laid-back views upon violence and sexual assault towards women. Many victims have come forward with allegations of rape and it is continuing to rise.
Nevertheless, police have been criticized for their poor endeavors to catch offenders, and many victims such as the young journalist for Tehelka, have stated their reluctance to come forward and make a statement for this reason.
In 2012 there were 24,923 cases of rape and 377 cases of molestation reported. However, there were incidences where rape was overlooked and instead classed as murder if the victim had died. This means that the resources of crime data may actually be incorrect and the numbers of rape and molestation are higher.
As the police receive new information in the Tehelka sex scandal, it remains to be seen whether the arrest of Tarun Tejpal will take place. His current punishment is 6 months suspension from the news magazine and an apology to the victim.
By Melissa McDonald