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Tehelka case: Another journalist quits, 'disappointed' with magazine's response to sexual assault case

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Story Dated: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 05:26 hrs EST

A senior Tehelka journalist today quit the magazine engulfed in a scandal following sexual assault allegations against its founder Tarun Tejpal.

Senior editor Rana Ayyub tweeted, "In view of the present controversy I thought it necessary to discontinue my association with Tehelka."

This comes a day after the journalist who accused Mr Tejpal of sexually assaulting her at a Goa hotel resigned from the news magazine saying she is "deeply traumatised by the lack of support offered by the organisation" and accusing Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhary of trying to orchestrate a "cover-up".

The reporter did not press sexual assault charges against Mr Tejpal; she outlined her complaint to Ms Chaudhary in an email last week that was leaked to the media and then cited by the Goa police in its FIR accusing Mr Tejpal of rape.

The reporter has alleged that Ms Chaudhary's reaction to her complaint was prejudiced by her concern to protect Tehelka. She feels especially betrayed by Ms Chaudhary's refusal to describe Mr Tejpal's actions as "sexual misconduct" in an email circulated to Tehelka employees.

In that note, Ms Chaudhary described "an untoward incident" and said Mr Tejpal would  be "recusing himself" from office for six months.

Two other journalists had quit last week, citing their disappointment with the magazine's response to the incident.

Experts have said that given the nature of offences outlined by the journalist in her email, Ms Chaudhary was obliged to report the matter to the police.

Ms Chaudhary has said in her defence that the journalist had asked her not to reveal details of her ordeal to the staff.

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