Tarun Tejpal sexual assault case: Woman journalist 'deeply disappointed' with Tehelka

Written by Express news service | New Delhi | Updated: Nov 22 2013, 03:45am hrs
Tarun TejpalAccused of sexual assault by a woman staffer, Tehelka founder Tarun Tejpal has stepped down for 6 months from post of editor-in-chief.
Hours after Tarun Tejpal, the founder and editor-in-chief of weekly magazine Tehelka, stepped down from the post over the allegations of sexual assault and intimidation against him, the woman journalist has expressed her disappointment over the response by Tehelka on the issue.

According to reports in NDTV, the woman journalist said: "To claim that other journalists in Tehelka are satisfied is false since my testimony has not been publicly circulated within Tehelka, only Tarun's letter of 'atonement' has."

Notably, Shoma Chaudhury, managing editor of Tehelka had told The Indian Express that the woman journalist had not filed a criminal complaint and that she, as well as other staffers, were "satisfied with the action taken".

The journalist had complained to Chaudhury accusing Tejpal of sexually assaulting her following which he said to be resigning from the post of Editor-in-chief for six months to "do the penance that lacerates" him.

In her complaint, the journalist had alleged that Tejpal sexually assaulted her on two occasions during the 'Think fest' event organised by the magazine in Goa earlier this month.

The sexual assault allegations have led to widespread outrage, with women activists demanding criminal proceedings to be initiated against Tarun Tejpal and some even questioning police's role as to why he has not been jailed yet.

Former IPS officer and flagbearer of the India Against Corruption movement Kiran Bedi took to micro-blogging site Twitter to express her angst.

Centre treads cautiously

Panaji: The Centre today refused to be drawn into the issue of a woman journalist levelling allegations of "misconduct" against Tehelka Editor Tarun Tejpal.

"It's a very sensitive issue. After scrutinising every details regarding the Tarun Tejpal issue and if there is any reaction to be given in that issue then we will definitely give our reaction," Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari told reporters at IFFI venue in Goa.

"Since yesterday, we have been seeing this issue on TV, therefore after going into the deep detail, we will give our reaction," he added.

Accepting "misconduct" against a woman journalist, Tejpal yesterday offered to recuse himself from the post and the office for six months.

In a letter to Managing Editor of Tehelka Shoma Chaudhary, Tejpal had said, "The last few days have been most testing, and I squarely take the blame for this... A bad lapse of judgement, an awful misreading of the situation, have led to an unfortunate incident that rails against all we believe in and fight for."

"I have already unconditionally apologised for my misconduct to the concerned journalist, but I feel impelled to atone further," he added.

Tejpal is a founder member of the Tehelka magazine.