New Delhi: National Commission for Women (NCW) member Nirmala Sawant Prabhavalkar on Thursday said Tehelka managing editor Shoma 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," Prabhavalkar said.
"Shoma is guilty of suppressing evidence, which is an offence under the Indian Penal Court, she must be advised to dissociate," she added.
Chaudhury had resigned this morning in the face of unrelenting criticism for the way she had handled a young journalist`s complaint that the magazine`s founder, Tarun Tejpal, had molested her in a Goa hotel earlier this month.
According to reports, in a letter sent to Tehelka colleagues announcing her decision to quit, Chaudhury said, "Over the past week, I have been accused of an attempt to `cover-up` and for not standing by my feminist positions. While I accept that 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."
Earlier this week, Chaudhury was interrogated by the Goa Police, which has booked Tejpal for rape. Tejpal request for bail will be decided on Friday, the Delhi High Court said yesterday, refusing to stop the Goa Police from arresting him till then.
Tejpal had earlier 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`.