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Victim testifies to magistrate; in email to Tejpal,counters his innocence claim

In her response mailed the woman said the entire act was completely non consensual.

Written by Ruhi Tewari | Panaji/new Delhi |
November 28, 2013 1:58:34 am

The women journalist of Tehelka magazine who has accused its founder-editor Tarun Tejpal of sexually assaulting her,recorded her statement Wednesday in a Goa city court under section 164 of the CrPC,setting the stage for police to use it as evidence and pursue investigations.

In the statement made in the judicial magistrate first class-B court in Panaji,the woman stuck to the details she had mentioned in her complaint email to Tehelka managing editor Shoma Chaudhury and her statement to the Goa Police investigating officer Sunita Sawant Tuesday,sources said.

They said over the course of five hours,she repeated her allegations that Tejpal assaulted her on two consecutive days inside a lift at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Bambolim during the Think fest organised by the magazine earlier this month.

Hours after the statement was recorded,another email correspondence between the woman and Tejpal surfaced,showing glaring gaps between the various claims made by Tejpal until now and the rebuttal of his latest note by the woman.

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The email by Tejpal was written on November 19,a day after the woman complained to Chaudhury about the alleged sexual harassment.

In the email,he wrote that it was not the formal apology she had sought but “the informal one,for you and me”,claiming he had no idea he had been even “remotely non-consensual”.

Tejpal wrote he is “sorry at the immense distress” that’s been caused by his “lapse of judgment”. He,however,claims the “context that ill-fated evening” of their conversation “was heavily loaded.”

The email added it was in “this frivolous,laughing mood that the encounter took place” and that he had no idea she was upset. He also offered to “apologize” to the victim’s mother and boyfriend.

In her response mailed on the morning of November 20,the woman refuted the conversation that night was “heavily loaded” and has said the entire act was completely non consensual.

“This is what non-consent constitutes: the moment you laid a hand on me,I started begging you to stop. I invoked every single person and principle that was important to us… the fact that you were my employer,to make you stop. You refused to listen,” she wrote.

Responding to his offer to apologise to her boyfriend,the woman wrote: “Unfortunately,your desire to apologize to xxx only reeks of your own patriarchal notion that men own and possess female bodies,and that since you violated what you recognize as his ‘property’,you are in some way accountable to him. The only people you owe an apology to are your employees at Tehelka,for desecrating their and my faith in you.”

“Please do not attempt any further personal correspondence with me – you lost that privilege when you violated my trust and body,” she wrote.

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