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Goa police issues non-bailable warrant against Tarun Tejpal

Tightening the screws, Goa police on Thursday moved a court for issue of non-bailable arrest warrant against Tarun Tejpal, who is accused of sexual assault against a woman journalist in Tehelka, after he failed to appear before the crime branch.

Tejpal, whose request for extension of time till Saturday for appearance before the Investigating Officer (IO) was rejected today, has now told Goa police that he will appear before them tomorrow in the investigations, his lawyer Sandeep Kapur, said in Delhi in the evening.

Tarun Tejpal

Activists of Akhil Bharatiya Vidya Parishad (ABVP) burn a photograph of Tarun Tejpal, founder and editor of Tehelka magazine, outside the magazine's office in New Delhi recently. Pic/AFP

On a day of dramatic developments when earlier reports spoke of Tejpal producing himself before the Goa police by the 3 PM deadline, he changed strategy and sought extension of time. And in the Delhi High Court he sought withdrawal of his petition seeking anticipatory bail saying he would move the appropriate court for appropriate remedy.

The dice was loaded against the founding Editor of the magazine when two hours after the 3 PM deadline passed and he failed to appear before the police, DIG O P Mishra said the IO has not accepted his request for extension.

"in view of the seriousness of the crime and is further proceeding in this case as per law empowered."

Asked whether securing a non-bailable warrant (NBW) was an option before the police, he said, "these are logical steps that we are required to follow. I cannot divulge to you each and every step of investigation."

When pressed further whether arrest was being thought of, he shot back, "there should be no doubt that the next logical steps is that. The IO is proceeding as per logical and legal protocol."

Police sources said the crime branch moved the Sessions court for issue of an NBW with which Tejpal could be arrested. The court is expected to give its order tomorrow morning.

Accused of attempting a cover up, Shoma Chaudhury on Thursday resigned as Managing Editor of Tehelka.

The victim, a former journalist of Tehelka, who was allegedly sexually assaulted in a lift in a five-star hotel in Goa earlier this month, had on Wednesday arrived in Panaji and recorded her statement under Section 164 of CrPC before a local court.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had also on Wednesday dismissed Tejpal's accusations that the BJP government in the state was pursuing vendetta against him because of the sting operation conducted by his organisation that unseated party President Bangaru Laxman and other issues.

The woman journalist resigned from Tehelka on Monday. 

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