Tehelka staffers resign as Shoma allegedly supports Tarun Tejpal

Tehelka staffers resign after incident
New Delhi, Nov 24: Three Tehelka staff members have resigned so far and many more are likely to quit questioning the manner in which the management had handled allegations of sexual assault leveled against its editor-in-chief, Tarun Tejpal, reported TOI.

Resignations have exposed the chinks in the magazine

Special correspondent Revati Laul-who had put in her papers on November 20-spoke in strong defence of her friend and colleague who has alleged that she was sexually assaulted by Tejpal. Consulting editor Jay Mazoomdaar and Features editor Shougat Dasgupta have also put in their papers in the last two days.

Laul has accused managing editor Shoma Chaudhury of "double-speak" and "grand-standing", Laul said Chaudhury's behaviour clearly indicated that she was firmly on Tejpal's side.

Speaking to CNN-IBN, Laul questioned the fact that if complaint made it clear that it was a rape case, then why was an apology that spoke about "lapses'' and "incident'' accepted at all.

She also questioned the need for Tarun to speak through Shoma in his apology to Tehelka staffers. "Why should Tarun be speaking through Shoma? Why should the perpetrator be speaking through Shoma? Shoma should have come out in support of the victim from day one... she didn't... merely saying won't help," Laul said.

On being asked if her friend would approach the police on her own, Laul said it was irrelevant now as the police had already taken suo-moto action in the case.

Laul said this was a clear case of rape and lauded the victim for taking on Tehelka. "I believe it was completely non-consensual... he (Tejpal) even said he was sorry and he takes complete responsibility for forcing himself on her... Tarun's act was much more that transgressing the editor-journalist relationship, it was rape." She added that making it appear as a consensual act was a classic case by a perpetrator to try and defend himself.

Even Mazoomdaar expressed disappointment at the way the complaint was handled prompting him to end his contract with Tehelka. When asked on his reasons for quitting Mazoomdaar said, "I was disappointed by the way that the case was handled and the lack of transparency...I do not see any reason to sit in moral judgment but if a crime has been committed and a person admits to it, he should face the legal consequences...he (Tejpal) had every right to deny it when he was accused of the crime. He confessed. You cannot confess and then decide your own punishment.''

The resignations - and more are likely to follow - have exposed the chinks in the magazine where several employees as friends of the complainant have taken a stand.

OneIndia News

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