Alleged sexual assault on a young woman colleague by Tehelka Editor Tarun Tejpal has snowballed into a major controversy today with the Goa police considering summoning him while questions have been raised over the way the weekly magazine has handled the issue.
Tarun Tejpal last night announced that he was "recusing" from his job for six months after an email by the woman journalist of his magazine alleged sexual assault.
The woman journalist, who had reportedly complained to Tehelka Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhury that Tarun Tejpal had pulled her into a lift on two days in a hotel in Goa about 10 days back during an event and then sexually assault her, is now said to be seeking constitution of a committee by the magazine to go into the issue and take action.
Chadhury, whose statements on the issue attracted criticism from women activists and senior journalists who have demanded that law take its course in the incident, merely said today that she wanted time to act "correctly" on it.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parikkar held a meeting with top civil and police officials when a preliminary probe was ordered into the incident.
While the police have asked for CCTV footage of the five star hotel where the incident took place, they have not ruled out the possibility of taking suo motu cognizance of the incident and proceed on that basis.
They are also said to be planning to take a statement from the woman journalist, the victim, based in Delhi.
Parikkar said that an inquiry has been initiated and "if we find any substance against Tarun Tejpal, a suo motu case can be registered against him since the incident happened in Goa".
"Only after police report, I would be able to speak more on the issue," he said.
DIG O P Mishra said police have asked for the complete footage of the days during which the incident had occurred. "Only after we get the footage of the tape we will be able to comment further," he said.
The Tehelka management came under attack over the way the victim's complaint was treated and Tarun Tejpal allowed to get away with a statement of recusal from office for six months.
Critics wondered how the magazine does not have even