Former magazine editor acquitted of rape in India

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Former journalist Tarun Tejpal (right) leaves after being acquitted in the sexual assault case at Mapusa District Court in Goa. – AFP

PANAJI: An Indian court on Friday acquitted the former editor of a major news magazine accused of raping a colleague seven years ago in a high-profile case that made headlines across the country. Tarun Tejpal was acquitted of charges of rape, sexual harassment and undue duress, said District Attorney Francisco Tavora in the coastal state of Goa.

“Seriously wronged. The state will attack the judgment, “Tavora told AFP in a text message. Tejpal, 58, founder and former editor of Tehelka magazine, has been accused of raping a female journalist in the elevator in ‘a five star hotel in Goa in November 2013.

He was released on bail in 2014. The case came at a time when India’s sexual assault record was under scanner following the fatal gang rape of a New Delhi student in December. 2012, which sparked numerous protests and led to the strengthening of the fight against rape. laws. Tehelka magazine had reported forcefully on gender inequality in the country, highlighting the insensitivity of the police and the judiciary to rape victims as well as the misogynistic attitudes of many Indian men.

Women’s rights activists attacked the court ruling, with activist Kavita Krishnan calling it “very unhappy”. “This is a case where there was a huge amount of evidence and courageous action on the part of the plaintiff who wasted no time in telling people what had happened,” Krishnan said.

“I am aware of the torture that the trial has been for the complainant. The whole process of the trial pilloried her and subjected her to all kinds of cruelties, ”she added. Tejpal, who has consistently denied the allegations, welcomed the decision, describing it as “a long struggle for justification” in a statement read by his daughter Cara in court in Goa. The victim, who has since left the magazine, cannot be named for legal reasons. – AFP


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