TODAY -
Tehelka scribe deposes before Commission in Guwahati
Source: Hueiyen News Service / NNN

Guwahati, February 08 2010: Teresa Rehman, the principal correspondent of the Tehelka news magazine for the Northeast, deposed today in Guwahati before the one-man P.J.Agarwal Inquiry Commission in connection with the July 23, 2009 alleged "fake encounter" case in Manipur.

During deposition, she was asked by the Commission and the police counsels if she had verified the genuineness of the photographs published in her article in the August 8 issue of her magazine Tehelka, Teresa said she did not verify them by herself.

She said once she had sent the photographs to her editor Tarun Tejpal, there was no communication as regards the genuineness or otherwise of the photographs.

She said the genuineness of the photographs could be tested by scientific method and examination.

"The story was authored by me mainly on the basis of the photographs sent to me by a source," she said but did not name it.

She, though admitted that she had done the story sitting in Guwahati and that she had not visited Imphal for the purpose.

"I was with Tehelka group till December 2009.The provisions of Armed Forces Special Powers Act have been withdrawn from Imphal Municipal area and to my knowledge the said powers are withdrawn by the orders of the Central Government.

The above statement was made by me as I had read about it.

It is not a fact that the above statement was made by me without consulting As regards the statement made on Manipur Police Commandos (MPCs), Teresa said it was entirely based on what retired IGP Th.Karunamaya Singh had told her.

"However, I had not seen any Government notification creating or administering Manipur Police Commandos.

I had a telephonic talk with Mr.Th..KSingh.

The talk was not recorded by me," Teresa said.

She added that she had quoted the statement on verbatim and as such no additional verification was sought.

As regards the extra judicial killings and registration of 27 cases of torture and killings cited in her article, she said these were allegations against Manipur police commandos only "but I had not come across any document recording a finding to that effect".

"The official version of Sanjit's encounter mentioned in my article is based upon the report/news published in newspapers," Teresa said.

She told the Commission that she had examined some eyewitnesses but refrained from spelling out their names.

"It is not a fact that I did not talk with any eyewitnesses of the incident and that the above statement made in my article has been falsely made.

I have seen the post-mortem report of Rabina Devi.

The report was seen after the publication of the above article," Teresa said.

She also said that the statement in her report that Rabina was killed by a bullet fired by the police was based on newspaper reports and that she had no other information or knowledge about it.

Counsel of Manipur Police, Advocate N Kumarjit cross-examined Teresa Rehman at the hearing today, and charged her with fabricating the story without any proof to substantiate.

However, Teresa Rehman denied that the story was fabricated.

"I had gone through newspapers published in Imphal.

Before publication of the article, I had telephonic talk with Sanjit's mother Taratombi Devi," Teresa said.

She said it was not a fact that the photographs in question were fabricated.

On the other hand, the Commission has summoned the two doctors of Forensic Science Department of RIMS, who had conducted the post mortem on the bodies of Sanjit and Rabina, editor and publisher of Tehelka, Tarun J Tejpal and those police personnel who were present at the site of the incident of July 23 last year to come to Imphal and give their statements before the Commission.


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