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Outlook.com

What The Elevator Saw

What the CCTV cameras saw when the Tehelka editor walked in and out of the elevator with a Young Woman in a Goa resort last November

What The Elevator Saw
What The Elevator Saw AFP (From Outlook 07 April 2014)

The unhappy young girl in the tiny Goan cafe comes to life when she hears someone say, “he has arrived”. Cara, who is 23, rushes out into the street. At a distance, a lanky man flanked by two cops is walking in her direction. The police van that has brought him to Panjim from the Sada sub-jail in Vasco is too large for the narrow lane and has to be parked about 200 metres away. He takes a moment to recognise her and when he does his face is lit by a smile. She quickens her pace and they walk with brisk strides towards each other until the man reaches the dark entrance of a building that houses a fast-track court, and he knows he cannot walk any further down the street. The rape accused waits for his daughter to reach him. They hug, he tells her he loves her, kisses her wrist, holds her hand, and they walk towards an elevator in a small swarm of family relations, and two cops. She is carrying with her, in a discreet way probably, a steel box that has some food. There are just a handful of photographers today. The story of Tarun Tejpal and the rape he is alleged to have committed in an elevator has lost much of its impassioned attention. In the anteroom of the court, Tejpal sits with Cara, other family members and lawyers. His wife, Geetan, sister Neena and older daughter Tiya, who had gifted him the novel Jailbird by Kurt Vonnegut days after he was jailed, are in Delhi preparing to approach the Supreme Court for his bail plea, their only recourse now. Tejpal tells his family what he has probably said many times after his arrest. He has the appearance of a man who is now talking to himself:

It was consensual, that was what it was. I had apologised to her out of honour, out of respect for someone who worked for me and who wanted me to apologise for what I thought was consensual. I have never admitted to rape, why are they saying I have admitted?

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