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'Tehelka incident tantamount to rape, can't be shielded'

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi, addressing a press conference a day after Tejpal stepped down for six months over the incident, said, “In today’s amended definition, the doing of Tarun Tejpal is called rape.”

She added, “Sexual harassment is what has happened to the innocent girl.”

Lekhi termed the atonement letter of Tejpal announcing he was recusing himself for six months as ‘immensely shocking’.

“It states that six-months’ paid holiday has been granted to the editor-in-chief and the criminal action has been covered already by the sexual harassment committee of the organisation... Criminality cannot be shielded in this action (stepping down for six months),” she said.

Lekhi also said she had learnt that Tehelka does not have a policy of preventing sexual harassment of women at the work place.

“I want to know who are the members of the sexual harassment committee and if there are any outsiders in the committee,” she asked.

The Congress party also condemned the incident. “Be it anyone big or small, the demand for action remains the same... If black sheep are there in the four pillars of democracy, who are not common people the ones who guide them, then it’s a very serious issue,” spokesperson Meem Afzal said.  

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