5:04 am - Sunday September 22, 2019

Action not delayed in Tejpal case, panel to probe: Managing editor

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New Delhi – Managing editor of Tehelka magazine Shoma Chaudhary said Friday there was no delay in taking action in the molestation charges against the magazine’s founder and editor-in-chief, Tarun Tejpal, and a committee set up now will probe the incident.

“It’s a misconception that there was a delay. I received a formal complaint only Nov 18, and took action, as req! uested, within three days,” Chaudhary said Friday, after she was charge! d with trying to push the issue under the carpet.

“My response within those three days was to make sure all that she asked from me, and the institution, was addressed immediately,” she added.

Talking to reporters, Choudhury said Tehelka was constituting a formal committee, headed by Urvashi Butalia, eminent feminist and publisher, to investigate the incident involving Tejpal, and it “will come to its own conclusions”.

Chaudhury, who gave a series of interviews to TV channels Friday, broke down on one of the channels and described it as the “most difficult situation” of her life.

“The truth is, and I will be speaking out in great detail about this, the truth is the moment I got this complaint, (which) has not been for many days but actually only on Monday this week, I acted absolutely, wholly and solely driven by my desire to address the aggrieved journalist’s sense of injury and to act in her interest,” she said.

Chaudhury said when! she confronted Tejpal about the matter “very, very angrily”, he gave a different version.

“I absolutely overruled his version and asked for a unilateral, unconditional apology from him,” Chaudhury said.

“I’m proud she spoke up, my desire is not to be seen in opposition to her,” she said.

She said the formal complaints committee, being constituted by Tehelka, will look into the charges and Tejpal would cooperate with the panel, which would examine the whole sequence of events.

“I am glad that a committee has been set up. It will come to its own conclusions.”

Choudhury said she was not defending anybody, and felt the need to redress her young colleague’s grievance.

She told reporters that Tejpal offered an unconditional apology to the woman colleague he had assaulted, and that he had also stepped down.

Chaudhary in a statement Wednesday announced Tehelka was constituting committee to be presided over by Urvashi Butalia. Other! members of the committee would soon be appointed, Chaudhary added.

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