By Aglaia Staff

Tehelka managing editor Shoma Chaudhury, who came under heavy criticism for trying to “cover up” the alleged charges of sexual assault leveled by a junior colleague against the magazine’s founding editor Tarun Tejpal, resigned on Thursday.

 

In her resignation letter mailed to Tehelka editorial staff, Chaudhury wrote, “as a result of what’s transpired over the past few days my integrity 

has repeatedly been questioned by people from our fraternity and, in fact, by the public at large. I would like to take cognizance of this. I have worked hard for Tehelka for many years and what we have stood for is very dear to me and I hold it in high esteem. I do not want questions raised about my integrity to tarnish the image of Tehelka, which it has done in the past week. Therefore, I resign as Managing Editor with immediate effect.”
Chaudhury had to face the heat for the apology and the in-house probe route suggested by her to redress the victim’s complaint of alleged sexual assault instead of seeking a proper police investigation.

In her letter, the managing editor also denied charges of an alleged “cover up” and of not standing by her “feminist positions.”

“While I accept that I could have done many things differently and in a more measured way, I reject the allegations of a cover-up because in no way could the first actions that were taken be deemed suppression of any kind. As for my feminist positions, I believe I acted in consonance with them by giving my colleague’s account precedence over everything else,” she stated in her resignation letter.

Read: Full text of Shoma Chaudhury’s resignation letter

Chaudhury’s resignation comes after the National Commission for Women asked her to explain in detail the measures she took to redress the sexual assault complaint filed against Tarun Tejpal.

On Wednesday, the Tehelka managing editor had written to the victim accepting the latter’s resignation. The victim, who was a junior journalist in the magazine, had mailed her resignation to Chaudhary on Monday.

Chaudhury in her letter had said 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.

Tejpal has to appear before Goa police in Panaji by 3pm on Thursday and could be arrested. The alleged sexual assault took place in a hotel in Goa.

 

 

 

 Things Fall Apart; Shoma Chaudhury Resigns
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