Indian feminists have issued a statement strongly condemning the BJP and right wing forces for viciously attacking Tehelka journalists in the wake of rape allegation against its former editor, Tarun Tejplal
Full text of the statement:
We condemn the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) lynch mob that attacked Tehelka’s Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhury’s house, physically jostling her at the entrance. Unsurprisingly, the BJP and right-wing forces in general have pounced upon the Tehelka sexual assault case to sweep attention away from the sexual crimes of their own Asaram Bapus and their Sahabs.
While Shoma Chaudhury failed in her responsibility as an employer when approached by an employee complaining of sexual harassment within the organization, she is neither an accomplice nor an accessory to the crime of sexual assault of which the Tehelka Editor Tarun Tejpal is accused.
We also condemn the online harassment meted out to other women employees in Tehelka by the right wing brigade in the internet. Such harassment is only further evidence of the double standards of the right-wing forces who see this attack on the woman journalist as a political opportunity.
Sexual harassment and violence against women respects no political boundaries, and we are appalled that a party responsible for large scale violence against women should present itself as the saviour of women’s rights, and that, through a physical attack on a woman journalist.
We recognize the distasteful political pre-election opportunism at work in these self-righteous stands by an ethically bankrupt party, and demand that Shoma Chaudhury’s safety be assured by the state.