BJP leader Vijay Jolly and party workers yesterday defaced the name plate and also poured black paint in front of the residence of Tehelka’s former managing editor Shoma Chaudhury.
Hours after the incident, the Delhi police charged Jolly under sections 427 (mischief causing damage), 341 (wrongful restraint) under the Indian Penal Code and the provisions of the Delhi Prevention of Defacement Act.
The protest began soon
after the news of Chaudhury’s resignation came out last afternoon. Around 50 BJP members led by Jolly reached Chaudhury’s house in Saket area and raised slogans against her. Jolly painted the name plate black and also ‘accused’ with black paint. He also poured black paint outside Chaudhury’s house.
Police deployed outside the house somehow managed to disperse them. “Shoma Chaudhury should be arrested for irresponsible statements. She was aware of the ill-doings of Tejpal. Despite that, she suppressed the matter to insulate the image of the organisation and her boss,” Jolly said.
He also heckled Chaudhury and blocked her car from leaving and added that he would do it a thousand times over. Following the vandalism, BJP leaders distanced themselves from Jolly and criticised him.
Senior party leader Nitin Gadkari said he had heard that some workers protested outside Chaudhury’s house, but the party had nothing to do with it and it was not organised by the BJP.
Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said, “I will never agree with this method of protest. Both Arun Jaitley and I had told Jolly not to stage such a protest.”
She added, “The party president (Rajnath Singh) will take action against him (Jolly), and I totally condemn it.” Earlier in the day, Chaudhury resigned from her post at Tehelka. In a statement on the Tehelka website, she said she had “taken a series of actions in response to this (junior colleague’s) complaint”.
She said: “To my mind, I acted on instant outrage and solidarity for our colleague as a woman and co-worker. 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.” She also said, “I would have liked to continue at Tehelkato see us through this dark time, but I am no longer sure whether my presence is harming or helping Tehelka. I deeply regretany inadequacies or lack of clarity I may have displayed in my leadership.”
Chaudhury fearing arrest: NCW member
NCW member Nirmala Sawant Prabhavalkar believes Chaudhury may have resigned because she fears she will be arrested. “Shoma’s resignation shows that she doesn’t even want to cooperate with the police. Her statements were not supportive,” she said.