Slanderous email showing molestationvictim circulated
The alleged sexual molestation case against Tehelka’s founder and former editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal has suddenly taken an ugly turn and caught media attention, after an email containing the picture of the victim came into circulation. A large number of people from the media received it from a person who by name is apparently English or American, signed off with a New York address.
The emailed photograph dated November 9, 2013 (Goa) shows Tarun Tejpal with the young journalist that he is accused of raping during Tehelka’s ‘Think Fest’ in Goa, posing along with Hollywood star Robert De Niro, who was among the speakers at the event. In the photograph, a black strip has been put over the eyes of the rape victim.
The Goa Police are yet to determine the identity of the person behind the email maligning the victim. The victim’s face (except for her eyes) is clearly visible in the photograph in violation of the law that says the identity of rape survivors must be protected.
Meanwhile,the Goa Police’s Crime Branch will be filing its chargesheet in the alleged rape case against Tejpal by mid-February.
Several conspiracy theories are doing the rounds, with allegations and counter-allegations. The victim, who was a journalist with the Tehelka and was allegedly raped by Tejpal, reportedly wrote to Goa Policesaying she was being harassed and intimidated by Tejpal and his family members.
On the other hand, Tejpal’s daughter has denied the charge levelled by the victim. “We categorically deny these allegations,” Tejpal’s daughter had said in her statement. “They are in the same malicious vein as the false intimidation charges levelled against us previously. Intimidation charges gravely damage our chances for bail.”
The slanderous email which has been received by several journalists and others also includes malicious comments along with the photo. It questions “evidence against Tejpal”. “We have lost an independent voice… who’s benefitting”, it comments. The email ends with an appeal: “Please spread the message and expose her lies”.
“I was shocked to receive the mail, with such objectionable content, showing the photo of the victim, with her eyes covered with a black strip, but she can be easily identified. Its blatantviolation of the law,” said a senior journalist in a national daily.
The Deputy Inspector General, Goa Police, OP Mishra told media persons that the victim had addressed her complaint to the Superintendent of Police (Crime Branch) and a team of Goa Police had recorded the statement of the victim in Mumbai. “The cyber crime cell experts are trying to ascertain the origin of the email”, a source close to the investigation team said.
According to sources, Tejpal is likely to file a case asking the Delhi police’s cyber experts to find the source of the email, as he believes that it has been staged to hurt his bail application.
The entire episode raised a storming debate in the national media, which forced the magazine’s managing editor and co-founder Shoma Chaudhury to quit; a few other journalists too resigned from Tehelka in the wake of the scandal.
While the investigation was in process, Tejpal, who at present is lodged in a Goa jail, had reportedly alleged that he could not expect an unprejudiced and fair investigation under investigating officer Sunita Sawant, after the latter claimed that Tejpal had threatened her during inquiry.
Just days before Tejpal was arrested last year, the victim had allegedly said that a member of Tejpal’s family came to her mother’s house in New Delhi and asked her (mother) to “protect Tarun Tejpal and demanded to know who I was seeking legal help from.”
As per the FIR registered suo motu by Goa Police, Tejpal was charged under Sections 354, 376 and 376 (2) (k) of the IPC for alleged sexual harassment and rape. During the course of investigation, the police added Section 341, Section 342, Section 376 (2) (f) and Section 376C of the IPC against him.
A source said that the cause of delay in filing the chargesheet has been due to the report from the Forensic Science Laboratory which is awaited. “It’s a crucial part of the evidence in this case and once the report arrives and attached with the chargesheet, Goa Crime Branch will file it,” the source said.
As per the law, the police file a chargesheet in a crime within 90 days of the arrest and in Tejpal’s case, the Goa police has time untilFebruary 28.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had reportedly said on December 4, 2013 that his government would ensure justice in the alleged rape case, even to Tejpal.
Nefarious fake currency rackets in India
The nation is shocked by the news item that appeared in the Times of India (February 3, 2014) on a fake currency racket exposition in Maharashtra. The NIA court in Mumbai has awarded life terms to six persons over fake FICN currency notes racket operating in Maharashtra in 2009. The sentence has been delivered under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) which holds printing and distribution of such notes a terrorist activity.
In this regard, one recalls the investigative report of Tehelka.com (July 2, 2013) on a similar issue. In the said investigative report, it was revealed that the promoter of Kairali Airlines, a Kerala based domestic airline was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment in three separate cases in the past, all three pertaining to printing and circulation of fake currency notes. The currency notes were allegedly printed in Pakistan and dispatched through Dubai to Kerala. While Kerala Police and its intelligence wing had initiated probe into the business operations of the new venture of the accused, there were reports trickling from unconfirmed sources that some Kochi-based politicians were promoting the airline company among businessman in the city. The aforesaid report further stated that the leader of opposition in Kerala State Assembly, VS Achutanandan had called for a probe into Kairali Airlines and the antecedents of its promoters. He had alleged that many people like the Airlines’ promoters were setting up fraudulent businesses in the State and were hoodwinking the lay investors by using their political clout and connections.
One further recalls a report published by The Hindu (June 12, 2013), which stated that with the arrest of four persons from Thiruvananthapuram, the Kollam Police had, in early June 2013, claimed to have busted a major fake currency racket operating in the state capital. Among the arrested was an assistant sub inspector of police attached to Thiruvananthapuram Armed Police Camp and a retired Class III Officer of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Subsequently, as per report published by Haindava Keralam, a local newspaper of Kerala, a Dubai based Malayali had been arrested by the Interpol in connection with the busting of a purported fake currency racket going on in the state. The arrested person Abdullah Haji had been apprehended from Dubai and had been accused of smuggling counterfeit currency produced in Pakistan through Dubai route. Abdullah Haji, hailing from Kasargode in Kerala had been wanted in many cases including those cases.
The present revelation makes the matter far more serious, as it shows fake currency racket operating in multiple states and hence a wider and more sinister network than believed hitherto.
The above expositions do definitely indicate the existence of many criminals covertly operating in the Indian society who are working overtime to disrupt peace and destabilise our country. They are traitor hyenas masquerading as commoner humans amongst us. We have failed to learn lessons from history. We continue to engender Jaichands and Mir Zaffars among us and then allow them to sabotage our national interests and prejudice our society’s peace and harmony.
The reports of newspapers and news magazines as aforesaid clearly indicates that such fake currency is being traded into the country over the last four or five years and the very fact that a huge cache of currency notes worth about
Rs 6.5 lakhs had been seised in Kerala and another cache of fake notes worth Rs 3.45 lakhs has been seised in Maharashtra shows the sinister network much more deep rooted than meets the eye. Hard evidence, based on physical specifications of FICN currency notes and pieces of other circumstantial evidence points an accusing finger at Pakistan. If this criminal activity is going on with the connivance of local politicians and some members of the uniformed force, its extermination becomes a huge challenge.
It is exactly here that the Central Government needs to step in and intervene forcefully. It should be clearly understood that fake currency racket in Kerala and Maharashtra is not a problem of these states but a problem of the Indian state. The Government needs to show its sincerity in exposing those state politicians. The Government has all the agencies at its command to conduct a proper probe to expose the criminals and bring them to book. The Government needs to mobilise its machinery in right earnest to eradicate this nefarious activity which surfaces and becomes dormant only to resurface from time to time.
We may recall the golden words of Chanakya, ancient India’s political scholar, based on Manusmriti, our primeval scripture. He stated that crime thrives in a State where systems of punishment sleep. Let the mechanism and systems of punishment be activated and enforced. Only such step can check and ultimately sound the death knell of treasonous activities.