‘We will provide security if demanded by Goa police or the victim’

The National Commission for Women (NCW), on Sunday, approached the Mumbai police, seeking protection for the Tehelka woman journalist who has accused Editor-in-Chief Tarun Tejpal of sexual assault. The police however said the request would be considered only if the Goa police or the victim asked for it.

Confirming that a request had been made, Joint Commissioner (crime) Himanshu Roy told The Hindu that he had received a call from an NCW member enquiring if security could be extended to Mr. Tejpal’s victim in view of the apparent threat.

“The Mumbai police will provide security if demanded by the Goa police or the victim. So far no such demand has been made,” he said. The victim had moved to Mumbai over a year ago.

The demand came a day after the journalist made a statement, saying that her family was being pressured to protect him. She said in a statement that one of Mr. Tejpal’s close family member approached her mother in New Dehli on the night of November 22. The visitor, she said, demanded to know from whom I was seeking legal help and “what I wanted.” The journalist said she feared that this was only the beginning of “further intimidation and harassment.”

NCW member Nirmala Samant Prabhavalkar said she had acted on the statement released by the victim. “We heard that she was getting threat calls. I contacted the Mumbai police. I was assured that my request would be considered. I conveyed it to the victim and she can approach the police whenever she likes,” she said.

‘Arrest Tejpal without delay’

Panaji Staff Reporter reports:

Chairperson of the Goa State Commission for women (GSCW) Advocate Vidya Tanavade has demanded that the Goa Police immediately arrest Mr. Tejpal and bring him to Goa. Ms. Tanavade told The Hindu on Sunday evening that they had already asked for the report of the case from the Goa Deputy Inspector General of Police O. P. Mishra by Monday.

“We will meet Mr. Mishra on Monday and seek the copy of FIR and other details and reiterate this demand for his arrest,” she said.

Ms. Tanavade further said she was trying to get in touch with Police Inspector Sunita Sawant, who was part of the three-Member Goa Crime Branch team which had gone to Delhi, to press for this demand.“As per Supreme Court orders on such criminal cases, the accused needs to be first arrested and put behind the bars.”

Expecting a communiqué

Ms. Tanavade said she was expecting a communiqué from the National Commission for Women about the schedule of the arrival of their three-member team which was supposed to be in Goa to investigate this case. However, till Sunday evening, she had not received any information.

Mr. Tejpal stands accused of sexually assaulting a junior female reporter twice at a five-star hotel in Bambolim in north Goa during the magazine’s literary festival — Think Fest — held earlier this month.

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