Magazine founder accused of rape

Magazine founder accused of rape
Activists burning a photograph of Tehelka magazine founder Tarun Tejpal outside the magazine’s office in New Delhi last Friday.

Dark clouds are gathering over the founder of India's top investigative magazine, Tehelka - a Hindi word that loosely translates as "caused a storm" - after police accused him of raping the daughter of a friend.

It allegedly happened during an annual Think Fest jamboree staged by Mr Tarun Tejpal and his magazine, which has covered sexual assaults on women extensively this year.

Held at the seaside resort of Goa, it attracted notables such as Hollywood icon Robert de Niro, Nobel Prize winning author V.S. Naipaul and India's most famous screen star Amitabh Bachchan.

Days after the event, however, the national buzz was not about the stars it attracted but about Mr Tejpal, who admitted he was not thinking clearly at his Think Fest.

He is alleged to have sexually assaulted a young woman colleague whose role at the event was to chaperone de Niro and his daughter. The victim is the daughter of a former colleague of Mr Tejpal and a close friend of his own daughter.

On Saturday, Goa police flew into New Delhi to question the 50-year-old editor and author, who faces arrest after police accused him of rape and sexual assault on two consecutive nights.

"The hunter has become the hunted," said one headline in an Indian newspaper, in obvious reference to Mr Tejpal and his brand of investigation, while another simply said, "Tarun Tejpal, rape accused".

Police were poring over closed-circuit television footage from the five-star hotel where the alleged incident took place on Nov 7 and 8. "There are no specific cameras in the elevator of the hotel," senior police official O. P. Mishra said at a press conference. "We are analysing the obtained footage."

Sex crimes against women have been making headlines in India since the gang rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student last Dec 16, who died from her injuries two weeks later in a Singapore hospital.

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