Hours after the Goa Police registered an FIR and accused him of raping a colleague,Tehelka magazine founder Tarun Tejpal Friday alleged that the victim was lying.
His lawyers,he said,know he is being framed and are aware of political forces driving much of it.
It is a totally mendacious account of what happened,in its details,in its tonalities,in its very suggestion of non-consensus, Tejpal,who stepped down as editor-in-chief of the weekly magazine Wednesday for six months over the alleged incident,said referring to the allegations by his colleague.
In cold light of day,much of it will sound unsavoury,but now the inquiry will reveal it all, he told The Indian Express in response to questions emailed to him.
Tejpal also said that the allegation by the journalist that he told her the best way to keep her job was by not resisting his advances,was a half-truth. This is one of the half-truths shes voiced. Nothing of this,as she states,was said or intended, he said.
My lawyers know I am being framed,and are also aware of the political forces driving much of it now, he added.
The woman journalist has accused Tejpal of sexually assaulting her on two occasions during a media event organised by the publication in Goa earlier this month.
After she complained in an email to Tehelkas managing editor Shoma Chaudhury,Tejpal announced he was recusing himself from his job for six months to atone for what he claimed was an unfortunate incident caused by a bad lapse of judgment and an awful misreading of the situation. He also claimed he had unconditionally apologised to the colleague for his misconduct.
Asked if recusing himself from work for six months was punishment enough in view of the grave allegations,he said: I had no reason to do that. I did so because Shoma Chaudhury felt I needed to make a clear gesture of atonement to appease the journalists sense of being aggrieved. At this point Shoma did not want to take into account my version of the events. She felt we needed to honour the journalists sense of being aggrieved. She felt we needed to honour the journalists complaint,right or wrong,with some gestures.
Tejpal said he wanted the CCTV footage of the elevator in the Goa hotel where the alleged assault is said to have taken place examined as police claimed they had this footage. I want that examined and brought out. Thats empirical. It should hopefully clear the air, he said.
Tejpal said he was getting rock solid support from family,friends and most of my colleagues. They know the details and know how much is being dangerously falsified.
Its been rough and debilitating and well claw our way back as the facts become clear, he said,adding that Tehelkas financial foundations have always been infirm.
In any case,my alleged misconduct has no bearing on the great journalism done by Tehelkas reporters,nor reflects on any of them.