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Tarun Tejpal calls sexual assault case as 'drunken banter' Last Updated : 22 Nov 2013 10:17:21 PM IST Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal (File Photo)
India’s one of the senior investigative journalists Tarun Tejpal, who exposed many corruption cases including BJP’s former party president Bangaru Laxman accepting bribe in a defence deal, is now facing sexual assault case.
Tehelka’s correspondent has accused Tarun Tejpal of sexually assaulting during Tehelka’s ‘Think’ seminar in Goa.
Meanwhile, Tejpal has confessed to the crime and tendred written apology to his woman colleague. Tejpal also took six-month leave as atonement for his act.
However, Tarun Tejpal might be arrested by the Goa police after Chief Minister Manohar Parikkar ordered probe into the matter.
In her complaint to Tehelka Managing Editor Shoma Choudhary, the victim says, "It is extremely painful for me to write this email to you – I have struggled with finding an easier way to say it, but there isn’t one. The editor in chief of Tehelka, Tarun Tejpal, sexually assaulted me at Think on two occasions last week. From the very first moment, I wanted to call you, or find you and tell you what he had done to me – but given how absorbed you were at Think; preparing for and conducting sessions, and the fact that it was impossible for the two of us to get even a minute alone together, I could not. To add to this, I had to process the fact that it was Tarun who molested me — my father’s ex colleague and my best friend’s dad, and someone I had so deeply respected and admired for so many years."
“I hope you will also understand how traumatic and terrifying it has been for me to report this to you — and yet how critical it is that Tehelka constitute an anti sexual harassment cell as per the Vishakha guidelines immediately, to investigate this matter. At the very least, I will need a written apology from Mr Tejpal and an acknowledgement of the same to be circulated through the organization. It cannot be considered acceptable for him to treat a female employee in this way.”
Tejpal offers fullest cooperation to police
Breaking his silence in the sexual assault case, Tehelka Editor Tarun Tejpal today offered to extend the "fullest cooperation" to the police and all other authorities and expressed readiness to present all the facts of this incident to them.
In a statement issued soon after a case was filed against him in Goa, Tejpal said he had "tried to do what was honorably demanded of me" and issued an apology for the "alleged misconduct" as demanded by the victim.
"There have been serious allegations cast on me in this last week, and unfortunately as sometimes happens in life, the complete truth and the need to do the honorable thing can come into conflict," he said.
Tejpal said that in this case, "this anguish was accentuated by the fact that very many intimate people, professional and personal, were involved".
"I offer my fullest cooperation to the police and all other authorities, and look to presenting all the facts of this incident to it," the founder-Editor of Tehelka said.
"I also urge the committee and the police to obtain, examine and release the CCTV footage so that the accurate version of events stands clearly revealed," he added.
Narrating details of the events that occurred after the incident came to light, Tejpal said, "For four days, as demanded by Shoma Chaudhury, the Managing Editor (of Tehelka), and the recipient of the complaint, I have tried to do what was honorably demanded of me.
"On Tuesday, I issued an apology for the alleged misconduct, as desired by the journalist through Shoma Chaudhury.
"On Wednesday, I stepped down from the editorship of Tehelka and removed myself from the office premises.
"On Thursday, I learnt of the formation of the complaints committee."
Tejpal has been under severe attack for the alleged incident with demands for action against him under the law.
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