Allahabad: Stepping up its attack on Tehelka magazine editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday described rape of women as another form of terrorism.
"There is a term coined by Tarun Tejpal, that you can rape women in a BJP ruled state, and then in defence, claim to be a secular person," said BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh, in response to Tejpal`s contention that the recent sexual assault case filed against him was a conspiracy hatched by the BJP.
"We have seen various governments competing with each other, to claim the title of secularism. And, to show their secularism, they advocate the release of Muslim terrorists," Singh said.
"This is unfortunate, and we must speak in one voice against rape, as it is women who suffer from it. This is nothing but terrorism against them," he said.
Tejpal, who has been accused of sexually assaulting a junior Tehelka colleague in a Goa hotel earlier this month, had on Monday filed a petition before the high court alleging that there was conspiracy behind the allegations of sexual assault, that the woman journalist was lying, and described the incident as a `light hearted banter`.
Goa Police had on November 22 lodged an FIR against Tejpal under IPC sections 376 (rape), 376 (2)(K) (rape by a person of a woman in his custody taking advantage of his official position) and 354 (outraging modesty). Conviction under section 376 of IPC entails a maximum of life term in jail.
It said it had questioned Tehelka`s managing editor Shoma Chaudhury and three others about the case over the weekend.
Earlier, Shoma Chaudhury said she is cooperating with Goa Police fully, who took her deposition for nine hours.
"All the relevant documents and E-mails I had shared with my colleagues, I shared with the police. I can`t comment how much satisfied they were but it was a courteous experience for me. I hope it brings clarity, truth and justice to the case," she said.
Chaudhury had earlier disagreed with the allegation that she was avoiding going to the police to depose on the matter. While initially maintaining that it was not for her to go to the police, and that it was the young woman journalist`s right to decide how to proceed in the case.
Chaudhury said: "The information to the media is wrong. I have sent a mail to the police. There is a lot of wrong information that is floating around. I cannot possibly be giving any evidence. I am cooperating with the Delhi Police."
Tejpal has suggested that the young journalist`s version of events is not entirely accurate. But in an email to her sent on Tuesday, he had admitted to a "shameful lapse of judgment that led me to attempt a sexual liaison with you on two occasions on 7 November and 8 November 2013, despite your clear reluctance that you did not want such attention from me."
Goa Police was instructed by the state government to investigate her allegations, contained in the email by her to Chaudhury on Monday. That email was leaked to the press. The FIR against Tejpal lists rape by a person in a position of authority over the woman, an offence that carries a minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison.