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Tejpal should be arrested,let him atone in jail: BJP

Tejpal had done the 2001 sting operation in which the then BJP President Bangaru Laxman was caught accepting bribe.

BJP Thursday demanded that Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal be arrested after lodging of FIR against him for allegedly sexually assaulting his colleague.

“I would want the Home Minister to ensure lodging of an FIR and immediate arrest of Tejpal,” BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said.

Tehelka,of which Tejpal is the founder editor,had done the 2001 sting operation in which the then BJP President Bangaru Laxman was caught accepting bribe.

The party accused the media of adopting double standards in its coverage of the case of alleged snooping on a woman by Narendra Modi government in 2009 and Tejpal’s case.

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Lekhi alleged that the incident of “virtual rape” of a journalist by Tejpal was being “blacked out” by media and also wondered why the National Commission for Women,Press Council of India and certain other agencies were silent.

“Tejpal has been found involved in criminal activity but it was ignored by the media. The victim and her father as well as the criminal are from the same fraternity (media). A blanket is sought to be put on the case,” she said.

She said,in the Gujarat case,the woman sought anonymity but some papers have even published her name and photograph.

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BJP alleged that this is a wake up call for all. “A political vendetta is taking place. The involvement of Congress and its surrogates in the matter needs to be looked into…,” Lekhi said.

Hitting out at Tejpal,BJP alleged that through his “atonement” letter,he has sought a “paid holiday” of six months.

“Can atonement for a criminal act like this be granted? If it is granted,it should take place within the jail premises. Even though Tejpal has admitted to having committed the crime,sending him away from Tehelka is not a befitting punishment at all considering the serious nature and assault on his own woman staffer,” Lekhi said Tejpal on Wednesday had accepted “misconduct” against a woman journalist and offered to recuse himself from the post and the office for six months.

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“I have already unconditionally apologised for my misconduct to the concerned journalist,but I feel impelled to atone further,” he had said.

First published on: 21-11-2013 at 21:24 IST
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