Twitter Reacts Strongly To The Alleged Sexual Assault By Tehelka Magazine Editor Tarun Tejpal

Tarun Tejpal, Editor-in-Chief of Tehelka, has stepped down for six months after being accused of sexual assault by a woman journalist who works with the weekly magazine. Twitter reacts strongly

Tarun Tejpal

Indian journalism, especially the Delhi journalism circuit, is buzzing with the reality of the sexual assault story that hit headlines since Wednesday evening. According to NDTV, Tarun Tejpal, Editor-in-Chief of Tehelka, has stepped down for six months after being accused of sexual assault by a woman journalist who works with the weekly magazine.

According to Delhidurbar, Tarun is a free bird till now since no FIR has been filed against the alleged crime that he had committed in Goa – a fortnight back during Tehelka‘s Think festival from Nov 8 to 10. The details of the incident have been covered by Delhidurbar in an elaborate manner, though it is still to be proved and takes only one side into account.

Meanwhile, the survivor had reported to the Tehelka Editor Shoma Chaudhary about the incident. However, Tehelka has failed to institute an inquiry into the incident even three days after the survivor wrote to Chaudhary demanding such an inquiry. While the media houses ignored the Supreme Court-mandated Sexual Harassment Committees as per the 1997 Vishakha judgement of the apex court, it accepted Tejpal’s email who admitted the incident as “tragic” and “a lapse of judgement”. He further said that as “atonement” he was “offering to recuse” himself “from the editorship of Tehelka, and from the Tehelka office, for the next six months”.

Moreover, such a grave incident has been labelled as an internal matter and Ms. Chaudhury even told NDTV that the journalist concerned is satisfied with the action taken.

I wonder if the magazine – that is known for its fair and fearless coverage – has forgotten the law of the country. Sexual assault is a chargeable offense and if proved guilty, Tejpal could well be behind bars for stalking, attempted rape (at the least), and intimidation.

Twitter reacts strongly

Meanwhile the netizens have taken to the world of 140 characters to express their strong disgust about the incident and how Tehelka was trying to cover it up. Both Twitter and Facebook are buzzing with discussions on the same. Hashtag #Tejpal, #Tehelka have been trending on the top of India Twitter trends since yesterday and even Facebook is witnessing the same trends.

According to Topsy, the social media monitoring tool, #Tejpal has seen more than 18K tweets with an exposure of more than 16M and #Tehelka has seen more than 11K tweets leading to an exposure of 16M too. The below screen grab gives you a quick look of the activity of both the hashtags in the last 24 hours.

Tarun_Tejpal_sexual_controversy

Some of the tweets that are doing the talking are listed below:

With social media buzz, both Tehelka and Tejpal have a tough time ahead. For sure Tejpal won’t be going on a “recusal” for the next six months.

Image credit: Newslaundry