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Tehelka scribe appear before Commission on July 23 shootout
Correspondent IMPHAL, JAN 21:
Published on 21 Jan. 2010 11:50 PM IST
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Tehelka’s Soma Chaudury appeared before the one-man Commission of enquiry headed by Justice (retired) PG Agarwal looking into the July 23, 2009 shooting incident involving state police commandoes. However, the other journalist Teressa Rehman who was also summoned failed to appear in the hearing conducted on Wednesday. Out of four persons, two scribes of Tehelka who exposed the killing of former militant Ch Sanjit by police commandos and two doctors from RIMS were summoned to appear in the commission and give their statement with regard to the incident. Teresa Rehman failed to appear on the pretext of receiving threatening SMS on her mobile phone. She furnished a fax message requesting the commission to take her statement in Guwahati while the two doctors of RIMS, Imphal approached the commission to fix another date for their appearance as they were currently appearing examination conducted by the RIMS authority. Teresa also mentioned that she did not received any arrest warrant by the authorities and came to know about the matter through a report published in Assam Tribune on its January 5 issue. Soma Choudury, executive editor of the Tehelka Weekly journal stated that the story which appeared in the magazine on August 15, 2009 was based on statements of some witnesses and through sources. “I cannot say the names of the witnesses from whom I received the information/story. In the issue of 8/8/2009 of the magazine, there were as many as 12 numbers of photographs,” she said. Some of the witnesses she interviewed were people from government departments, police department and others as mentioned in her article. Soma said her story was based on mostly the photographs published in earlier issue of the magazine. “I have no personal knowledge about the incident of July 23 and I have stated, my article is based mainly on the photographs published, my reading of the photographs, the interviews conducted by me and information gathered by me as a journalist,” she put down before the commission. After hearing the statement, the commission postponed the next hearing to January 27.

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