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HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014

Shoma Chaudhury deposes before NCW, apologises for 'lapses'

Moushumi Das Gupta, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 28, 2013
First Published: 15:00 IST(28/11/2013) | Last Updated: 19:38 IST(28/11/2013)

Former Tehelka managing editor Shoma Chaudhury met member in-charge of Goa Shamina Shafiq of the National Commission for Women (NCW) at its headquarters in New Delhi on Thursday to explain in person her handling of the Tarun Tejpal sexual assault case.

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Shafiq said Chaudhury, who quit her post with the magazine on Thursday morning, apologised for failing to put in place a complaints committee under Visakha guidelines during deposition at the National Commission for Women which recorded her statement in the case.

"Chaudhury has apologised for not having an anti-sexual harassment committee in the organisation. She also apologised for various lapses in handling the case," she said.

After recording statement of Chaudhury, NCW said it will question the three colleagues of the young journalist with whom she had confided about the alleged sexual offence.

Chaudhury had courted controversy with her handling of the charge of sexual assault brought against founder-editor Tarun Tejpal by a junior colleague while the two of them were attending the Think festival in Goa.

She also said the Commission will seek all documents from Goa police relating to the sexual assault case against Tejpal.

The NCW had sought an explanation from Chaudhury last Friday on what measures she had taken to set up an anti-sexual harressment committee as demanded by the victim. The NCW had given Chaudhury 24 hours to respond.

Chaudhury replied only on Tuesday but the NCW did not find her response satisfactory. Hence it called her on Thursday to explain in detail the measures she had taken.

"We have called Shoma Chaudhury to explain her stand. We did not find her response to the explanation that we had sought satisfactory," said an NCW official.

On Wednesday, Chaudhury also wrote to the victim accepting the latter's resignation. The victim had mailed her resignation to Chaudhary on Monday.

Shafiq said the NCW has received a complaint from Chaudhury regarding her house being vandalised allegedly by some BJP workers following which police has been asked to file an FIR against the perpetrators.

Shafiq said Delhi police Commissioner BS Bassi has been asked to provide police protection to Chaudhury.

"NCW asked Delhi Police to file FIR against those allegedly involved in vandalising Chaudhury's house," she said.

(With PTI inputs)


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