As Goa police readied to question Tehelka magazine founder Tarun Tejpal for the alleged sexual assault on a female colleague, the organisers of the Taj Literary Festival, scheduled in December, decided to remove him from the list of invitees.
The organisers also said the books authored by Tejpal would not be displayed at the festival.
This is the second blow for Tejpal. Soon after the alleged sexual assault came to light on Wednesday, a panel headed by Vice President Hamid Ansari had cancelled Tejpal’s membership of the prestigious Prasar Bharti Board.
The Board manages the affairs of India’s largest public broadcaster, Prasar Bharti. Tejpal's name had been cleared for the membership a day before.
“Since he has been named as an accused in the case registered by Goa police, we had to re-consider our decision and as such doors are closed for him at the Taj Literature Festival,” said Har Vijay Bahia, director of Taj Literary Festival.
“Inclusion of a tainted personality would have embarrassed both the organisers and a large number of the youths who have become part of this festival meant to propagate literature, art and culture,” said Bahia.
He said the organisers had to take a stand on the alleged sexual assault, which he condemned, and therefore exclude Tejpal from the list of invitees.
Author of several books, Tejpal was among the guest writers for the second edition of the literary festival to be organised from December 12-14 in Agra.