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Rediff.com  » News » Tejpal gets poachers for company, but no fan or mattress

Tejpal gets poachers for company, but no fan or mattress

December 02, 2013 14:10 IST

Tarun Tejpal gets poachers for company

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From the two murder accused he shared his room with on his first night in police lock-up, arrested Tehelka Editor Tarun Tejpal had four local men, held on charges of poaching, as his cell mates on the second night.

The 50-year-old journalist, who is in six-day police custody, is lodged in the Panaji police lock-up, which is housed in an old building.

A narrow access through a tunnel leads to three cells -- two for men and one for women. Tejpal is lodged in a cell which is around 8 feet by 4 feet and is five metres high. It has an Indian toilet facility behind a small wall, just enough to cover the person who is using it.

"Tejpal looked tired and tense due to sleeplessness and may be due to intense questioning. His face looked a little swollen and his eyes were red," police sources said.

His family members visited him on Monday morning along with Crime Branch officials.

"He was given Goan pav bhaji by the family members. Before that he had tea which is served for the inmates by police," the source stated.

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Image: Tarun Tejpal at the Delhi airport on his way to Goa
Photographs: Reuters

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Tarun Tejpal gets poachers for company

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“Tejpal did try to strike conversation with the four inmates last night when he was brought to the lock up by the crime branch after interrogation. But the four accused -- Damian Colaco, Natalo Fernandes, Lorence Colaco and Santan Colaco – who are facing charges of poaching frogs and turles, did not respond as they don't understand Hindi," the source said.

The Panaji lock-up is shared by the forest department which does not have its own prison facility.

Tejpal asked the four inmates about the crime for which they were behind bars, but they refused to answer and stared at his face nervously, the sources said.

The journalist got up twice during the night to take water, they said.

Tejpal was arrested on Saturday for allegedly assaulting a journalist colleague of Tehelka.

His family had brought a mattress for him but the Crime Branch officials did not allow him to use it, saying the court's order does not permit it.

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Tarun Tejpal gets poachers for company

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Since the lock-up does not have a fan, Tejpal has moved an application in the local court to get one.

Judicial Magistrate Shama Joshi had on Sunday ordered six days' police custody of Tejpal after the prosecution sought his remand for 14 days.

Once they got him in their custody, Crime Branch officials took the Tehelka founder to their headquarters in Dona Paula and began questioning him.

Public Prosecutor Frances Tavera had sought police custody of Tejpal, saying his custodial interrogation was needed because of the nature of the crime involved.

Tejpal's lawyers opposed the demand for police custody, saying he was cooperating with the Crime Branch.

The journalist had accused Tejpal of sexually assaulting her on November 7 and 8 in a lift in a hotel in Goa in November.

He has been booked under Sections 354A (outraging the modesty of a woman) and 376 (2)(K) (custodial rape) of the Indian Penal Code.

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