New Delhi: The journalist who says she was sexually assaulted by her boss, Tarun Tejpal, the editor of Tehelka magazine, says she is "deeply disappointed by Tehelka's response." The woman told NDTV, "To claim that other journalists in Tehelka are satisfied is also false since my testimony has not been publicly circulated within Tehelka, only Tarun's letter of 'atonement' has."
Last evening, Mr Tejpal said he was stepping down for six months as "atonement" for what he described as "...a bad lapse of judgment, an awful misreading of the situation." (Read entire letter here)
Shoma Choudhary, the managing editor of the news-magazine, told NDTV last night that "This is an internal matter. The journalist concerned is satisfied with the action taken."
Women's rights activists have described his decision to "recuse himself from the editorship of Tehelka, and from the Tehelka office, for six months" as inappropriate and grossly insufficient. (reactions)
"It is not right that one will punish oneself on something that he has done. We have the judiciary for it," said Nirmala Samant of the National Commission for Women.
Kavita Krishnan, an activist who said she has been in close touch with the complainant, said, "Tehelka's response to this matter is inadequate and shocking. Penance is no substitute for due process and penalty. I am shocked that Tehelka is claiming that the complainant is fully satisfied, the complainant has told us she is not satisfied."
The woman journalist has alleged that she was assaulted by Mr Tejpal at an event the magazine organized in Goa earlier this month.The Goa Police has reportedly asked the hotel where the event took place to preserve the CCTV footage of the relevant period, sources have said.
Kiran Bedi, former IPS officer, pointed out that Tehelka must clarify if it has an internal committee to deal with complaints of sexual harassment, a legal requirement.