The National Commission for Women (NCW) has called Tehelka managing editor Shoma Chaudhury on Thursday to explain in detail the measures she took to redress the sexual assault complaint filed by her staffer against the magazine’s founder editor Tarun Tejpal.
“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, the Tehelka managing editor also wrote to the victim accepting the latter’s resignation. The victim had mailed her resignation to Chaudhary on Monday.
Denying the victim’s charge that she did not respond adequately to her complaint, Chaudhary wrote in her letter, “Questions have been asked about why I did not go to the police. In our conversation, you had mentioned that you had considered this option but did not want to go that route. I thought I should respect that and had no reason to disbelieve this, as you had already spoken to journalists about your sexual assault, and both they, and you, could have gone to the police in the ten days that transpired before you brought your complaints to me.”
Chaudhury in her letter says that she is “inexpressibly dismayed” by the complainant’s charges that she (Chaudhury) did not stand by her. “From the moment I received your complaint, my actions, were driven by outrage on your behalf, urgent concern, and a desire to assuage your sense of injury….. despite my immediate and assertive actions in support of you, I stand wrongly defaced,” the letter states.
Responding to HT story that appeared on Wednesday “In a spot, Tarun, Shoma turn to smear campaign”, Chaudhury rejected the allegation that she was “involved in any manner with any slander, intimidation or character assassination of the complainant journalist.”