Tehelka journalist resigns
New Delhi: The Tehelka journalist, who had alleged sexual assault by the magazine editor Tarun Tejpal, has resigned, accusing him and Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhary of a "cover-up" and resorting to "tactics of intimidation, character assassination and slander".
Refuting the charge, Chaudhury said, "How can you cover up giving an unconditional apology for what pretty much makes him (Tejpal) a self-confessed rapist. If people would apply their minds, they would already understand it is a travesty because I have got an unconditional apology from the Editor."
In a stinging letter to Chaudhary, the journalist said, "At a time when I find myself victim to such a crime, I am shattered to find the Editor-in-Chief of Tehelka, and you – in your capacity as Managing Editor – resorting to precisely these tactics of intimidation, character assassination and slander."
"Given the sequence of events since the November 7, it is not just Mr Tejpal who has failed me as an employer – but Tehelka that has failed women, employees, journalists and feminists collectively. Please consider my resignation effective immediately," the journalist wrote.
The girl cited lack of support offered by the organisation because of which she is deeply traumatised and said "in such circumstances it is untenable for me to continue to work for this organisation."
The young journalist also charged Tejpal and Chaudhary of covering up the act of sexual molestation by terming it as "an untoward incident" in the name of "protecting the institution".
"In the public acknowledgement sent to the bureau, Mr Tejpal and you referred to his act of sexual violation as "an untoward incident" – this was not an attempt to 'protect the institution' but in fact, an attempt to cover up what had really occurred – the act of sexual molestation, an admission of the facts that Mr Tejpal had "attempted sexual liaison" with me (to quote his email) on two occasions despite my "reluctance to receive such attention," said the woman journalist.
The victim also attacked Chaudhary for her attempt to establish that she was satisfied with Tehelka's actions. She also accused Chaudhary of "attempting to establish Tejpal has another version of the event and that the "encounter" may have been "consensual or non-consensual."
Mr Tejpal is now claiming that what occurred was a "fleeting, consensual encounter"; and that he wrote his apologies to me because of your "adamantine feminist principles," she said.