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Archives for : Tarun Tejpal

SC grants interim bail to Tarun Tejpal

May 19, 2014 18:18:42 IST

New Delhi  : The Supreme Court Monday granted three weeks’ interim bail to Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal so that he could perform last rites of his mother, who passed away in Goa Sunday.

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The apex court bench of Justice B.S. Chauhan and Justice A.K. Sikri passed the orders granting Tejpal interim bail after holding the hearing on his plea in their chamber.

A former junior woman colleague last year accused Tejpal of rape during ThinkFest, a high-profile conference organised by the Tehelka founder in Goa.

The victim claimed she was sexually assaulted twice Nov 7 and 8.

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Tarun Tejpal – Tehelka Rape Case – Robert De Niro’s replies to Goa Police #Vaw


Smita Nair | Mumbai | Updated: May 06 2014, 04:22 IST
Robert De Niro’s response will form a part of the supplementary chargesheet
Five months after he was contacted by the Goa Police, Hollywood actor Robert De Niro has confirmed the role and presence of the Tehelka journalist who has accused the magazine’s founder editor of rape at Think Fest, the magazine’s annual media event in November 2013.

An email response routed through the office of the actor’s attorneys Harvey & Hackett, New York, to the police’s detailed questionnaire has confirmed that the woman journalist was De Niro’s liaison at the event. She was given the responsibility of chaperoning De Niro and his daughter Drena on all three days of the event at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Goa.

De Niro’s response will form a part of the supplementary chargesheet, sources told The Indian Express. On March 6, 2014, investigators had moved an application at the fast track court in Panaji under section 173(8) of the CrPC, seeking time to include the response of a “witness outside the country” in the supplementary chargesheet.

According to prosecution sources, De Niro’s response is pertinent to establish the role of the complainant at the venue, and to establish her presence, and that of the accused, at the scene of the alleged crime. De Niro has also responded to specific queries on his itinerary and movements during his stay in Goa, the sources said.

Tejpal faces charges under sections 376(2)(f) [rape by a person in a position of control or dominance over a woman] of the IPC, and 376(2)(k) [rape by a relative or guardian or a person in a position of trust or authority, and rape by a person in a fiduciary position] of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act.

De Niro’s response, the sources said, was significant in the wake of additional charges that have been pressed against Tejpal, where it is essential to prove the victim’s circumstances at the time of the alleged crime.

“Both the rape allegations are from events that happened inside the lift in Block 7, where on both the occasions, the accused had asked the victim to accompany him to the actor’s room,” an official said.

In its chargesheet filed on February 17, the Goa Police stated that the complainant had been introduced to the actor and his daughter by Tejpal on November 7. They were escorted to their respective rooms, numbers 7207 and 7210 in Block 7 on the second floor.

The editor and the complainant then walked out of Block 7 and reached the ground floor, the

chargesheet says. Tejpal then allegedly asked the journalist to return to the actor’s room to wake him up. He is alleged to have raped the woman inside the lift on their way to the second floor to De Niro’s room.

The complainant has alleged that on November 8, she was asked by Tejpal to accompany him to pick something up from the actor’s room. She has alleged she was sexually assaulted a second time in the lift while on their way.

De Niro had earlier responded through his publicist Stan Rosenfield that he “was not aware of this incident until he returned to New York”


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#Tehelkarapecase – Tarun Tejpal says Shoma pressured him to send apology , Really ? #Vaw


Tarun Tejpal tells SC Shoma pressured him to send apology mail to victim

Harish V. Nair   |   Mail Today  |   New Delhi, April 14, 2014 | UPDATED 09:18 IST
Tarun Tejpal, the 50-year-old founder editor of Tehelka, was arrested from Goa airport on November 30 and is lodged in jail since then.

The sexual harassment case against Tehelka founder editor Tarun Tejpal has taken a new twist with him telling the Supreme Court that his apology to the victim, being used as key evidence against him, was sent “on the terms of the victim” under pressure from Shoma Chaudhury, the then managing editor of the magazine, and the words used were not his.


Tejpal, who has already spent 130 days in jail, said he was shocked to hear from Chaudhury about the complaint on November 18, 2013, and had categorically refuted the allegations.

He has moved the Supreme Court for bail after his plea was dismissed by the Bombay High Court.

The victim, a junior woman colleague of the editor, and Goa Police are using Tejpal’s apology sent to the victim on November 19 last year as the primary proof. Both the trial court and high court described the apology as “formal” and “confessional in nature” while denying Tejpal bail.

In the apology, Tejpal had referred to the incident as “a bad lapse of judgment” and “an awful misreading of the situation”.

“The petitioner was shocked and categorically refuted each and every allegation. However, the managing editor refused to even listen to the petitioner’s version and overrode him. The managing editor stated in her statement that she was making all the decisions in Tehelka’s interest and on November 19 pressurised the petitioner to send an apology on the terms as was desired/dictated by the alleged victim,” Tejpal said in his 500-page bail application filed last week through advocate Sandeep Kapur of the noted law firm Karanjawala and Co.

The bail plea will come up for hearing in the apex court soon Tejpal contended that before sending the apology, he had written a personal communication to the victim, giving his version and pointing out the “falsity and concoction” in the allegations levelled against him by her.


Tejpal, who stepped down as editor of the weekly magazine after the incident occurred during the Thinkfest in Goa, has been accused of sexually assaulting his junior colleague inside an elevator of a five star hotel on the night of November 7 last year.


Tejpal claimed that CCTV footage of him and the victim coming out of the lift clearly belied the contention of the victim. She claimed that Tejpal chased her out of the elevator when she managed to get out, and threatened her that consent would be the “easiest way for you to keep your job”.

But Tejpal’s bail petition claimed the CCTV footage clearly indicates the victim was running behind him after getting out of the lift and the “girl was happy and was not holding back tears”.

Tejpal pointed out what he said were “several contradictions, infirmities, embellishments and shocking exaggerations” in the statements of the victim and key witnesses Ishan Tankha, G Vishnu and Shaugat Das Gupta to whom she had allegedly confided in after the alleged incident. He claimed these proved he had “been framed”.

“The Bombay HC had unfortunately yielded to the prosecution’s exaggerations,” he said.

Tejpal also said it was wrong to keep him in continued custody as the chargesheet had been filed and he was not required for any interrogation. Questioning the High Court’s reliance on the prosecution’s statement that the trial would be completed in two months, Tejpal said it was bound to be prolonged as there were 152 prosecution witnesses and the chargesheet ran into more than 3,000 pages and the time frame announced by the prosecution too was over.

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NWMI’s response to Manu Joseph’s defence of his article on Tarun Tejpal #mustshare


The Network of Women in Media, India, is gratified that our letters to the Press Council of India and the Editors’ Guild, regarding the recent articles in Outlook and The Citizen, have generated a debate in the media and in society.

Other critiques of these articles, and of attempts to use the CCTV footage (or the “Tejpal Tapes”) and the media (including social media) to discredit the complaint of sexual assault/rape against the former editor of Tehelka have also contributed to this necessary discussion.

We believe that a robust debate is healthy and imperative for generating a better understanding among media professionals about the seriousness of reporting on issues of sexual violence, the importance of respecting the law and observing journalistic ethics, as well as of upholding basic human norms of sensitivity and fair play – within a broader framework of public interest – while reporting such issues.

Manu Joseph, the author of the Outlook article on the CCTV footage, has specifically referred to our letter in his response to criticism of his article. We do not know where his response was first published/posted, but it has been reproduced on some websites. We are posting his responseherealong with our own response below:

1. Manu Joseph’s note outlining how and why he wrote the story does not address the substantive issues of legality and ethics that our letter raises.

2. The Outlook article certainly reflects better journalistic practice than the one in The Citizen. Joseph spoke to “the counsel from the prosecution side” and his article includes inputs from different sources and more than one perspective on some of the assumptions.

3. However, we maintain that the article, including the title, the lengthy introductory section, the visuals and the highlighted pull quotes, clearly infers that the complainant’s account of the events of 7-8 November 2013 is implausible. In our assessment, the overall impact of the story is to cast doubts on the veracity of her complaint, question her character, strengthen the defence argument that the sexual activities in the lift (which Tejpal has not denied) were consensual, and influence public opinion in favour of the accused.

4. We assert that it is unethical to selectively use just one of the many pieces of evidence in the case to discredit the complainant’s allegations; it also constitutes bad journalistic practice. In any case, it is up to the courts, not the media, to examine, evaluate and adjudicate on all the evidence assembled by the investigating agencies. While the media can, and must, analyse court judgements, it is not the role of the media to conduct what amounts to a pre-trial, that too with incomplete evidence.

5. Manu Joseph feebly attempts to sidestep the illegality of viewing, showing and commenting on the CCTV footage by claiming that the details of the footage were, “in a way” in the public domain, since they were “mentioned in the latest court order denying Tejpal bail” and detailed “in the submission of the defence counsel.” However, four out of six news reports on the latest denial of bail (print, television, online), datelined 14 March 2014, did not even mention the footage. A television report quoted the police saying that they had gathered CCTV footage as well as e-mail and SMS exchanges in the course of their investigation. The daily which carried the most detailed report merely mentioned that the defence had showed sections of the CCTV footage, submitting that “the footage does not corroborate the version given by the victim.” According to the court “…the CCTV footage, prima facie, does not help the applicant to prove his innocence, since it did not cover the incident inside the lift.” Such brief references to the CCTV footage are not the same as detailed descriptions of the supposed content of the footage.

6. Our letter referred to “what appears to be a renewed media campaign” and articles “which appear to be part of an orchestrated campaign” because the near simultaneous appearance of the two articles, by two senior journalists, highlighting the CCTV footage, as well as their circulation on social media, are unlikely to all be coincidental.

7. Manu Joseph asserts that there is “a compelling journalistic reason to put the feed in perspective.” We believe it is necessary to put the complex issues raised by the case “in perspective” in order to increase and improve public awareness and understanding. There are many useful and meaningful ways to put the multiple issues raised by the case in perspective. However, the Outlook article, which merely minutely dissects the CCTV footage, clearly does not serve this purpose. The only justification for resorting to illegal and/or unethical practices in the pursuit of a story is that it is done in the “public interest.” In our opinion, while the Outlook article may interest the public, it cannot claim to serve the public interest.

5 April 2014


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The wrongs of writing in Tejpal Rape Case #Vaw

Illustration: Deepak Harichandan


While the law sets the boundaries, journalists and editors must reflect whether their practice enhances or reduces the possibility of justice for all sides

Fundamental questions relating to law, ethics and journalistic propriety have been raised by two recent pieces in Outlook magazine and The Citizen, an online newspaper, in the rape case involving Tarun Tejpal, former Tehelka editor and author.

It has led to umbrage on the part of several women journalists, lawyers and human rights activists, with some writing to media watchdogs in the country seeking redress for what they believe is an orchestrated campaign in defence of Mr. Tejpal.

The rape case, in which a young woman colleague at Tehelka alleged that Mr. Tejpal sexually assaulted her on two occasions inside a lift in Goa in November 2013, is one of the most discussed matters of its kind in recent memory. If the Tejpal case was becoming one of applications and hearings, the articles based on the closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage, which was specifically requested for by the defence, has suddenly thrown the spotlight back on the case.

Recent articlesThe Outlook piece by well-known author and till-recently editor of Openmagazine, Manu Joseph, carries a cover picture of Mr. Tejpal with a strapline saying: “What the CCTV cameras saw when the Tehelka editor walked in and out of the elevator with a Young Woman in a Goa resort last November. And the question marks that hang over what really happened inside the lift on those two nights.”

In the story, Mr. Joseph also refers to Mr. Tejpal’s text message to the complainant — “the fingertips” — as the “most destructive message an Indian public figure had sent out in recent times.”

“The message,” Mr. Joseph argued, “was either sent by a foolish rapist who, after his crime, was implicating himself through an SMS to a competent journalist whose area of special interest was the interaction between society, law and rape. Or it was sent by a drunken man who thought he was flirting.”

Emotions ran so high that after the publication of the piece in The Citizen, Seema Mustafa, editor-in-chief of the online newspaper, claimed their website was hacked after they published the article. “The Citizen site as many of you know was ‘raided’ after the Tarun Tejpal story and made to crash…We wish to assert that we stand by our right as a media outlet committed to the truth to write without fear or favour,” Ms. Mustafa said on social media. “We decry efforts from different quarters to intimidate us. We support the victim’s right to seek justice just as we support Mr. Tejpal’s right to seek bail.”

Equally, if not more umbraged, was the Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI), a group comprising many respected women journalists, that took the two publications to task for their reports.

Pointing out that there was a trial court order that made it illegal to “show, see and write about” the CCTV footage, the NWMI argued that this was but one piece of evidence in the case.

“By presenting poor quality visuals as clinching evidence of innocence or guilt, credibility or implausibility — of the accused or the accuser — the articles fall short of journalistic standards and ethics. Any pre-trial article that does not analyse all the evidence related to the case is clearly prejudicial and unfair,” the NWMI said.

Outlook editor Krishna Prasad, when approached by this writer for a comment, said via a text message that Mr. Joseph’s piece was a “balanced and nuanced journalistic exercise into a sensitive story and represents all points of view, including that of the prosecution.”

To protect the identity of rape survivors, a provision — 228A of the Indian Penal Code — makes it clear that “any matter” printed or published without the permission of a court that leads to the identification of a rape victim could lead to a fine or jail of up to two years or both.

Colliding with the lawThere are and will be cases where journalistic exercise doesn’t quite fit into the four corners of the law and the spirit of public interest could be invoked to justify and argue such cases.

Journalists have and will argue that their craft and the story might, on occasion, collide with the law, but when applied to the proceedings in the rape case involving Mr. Tejpal such a justification may not quite apply.

Considerable effort has gone into the mission to protect the identity of an individual complainant in cases of rape and sexual assault in the country. There is little doubt that the legal boundaries in this domain for journalists — in print, television and digital — are well-defined and need to be respected.

In a highly charged and polarised debate, anyone who says that Mr. Tejpal should be given bail, for instance, could be viciously attacked on social media given that his many political enemies come from the far right of the Indian political spectrum. Many who hate Mr. Tejpal for his politics are happy that he’s inside jail in the rape case. However, it must be said that the battle for his innocence or guilt, at the end of the day, will be decided in a court of law. At the same time, those of us who live in the real world are more than aware that what appears on television, in newspapers and the web does influence individuals involved in the legal process as well. Lawyers and judges, too, happen to consume the news in their capacity as citizens.

Given the disproportionate attention some cases receive (the Arushi Talwar murder case being another one), we probably haven’t heard the last in the rape charge involving Mr. Tejpal.

While the law sets the boundaries, journalists and editors must reflect whether their practice enhances or reduces the possibility of justice for all sides in such high-profile cases.

[email protected]

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Anurag Kashyap – Exposed as a Misogynist #Tehelkacase #Vaw

Kavita Krishnan



MOSTRA ANURAG KASHYAP (Photo credit: Sesc em São Paulo)


Mr Anurag Kashyap,

You say “I have seen the CCTV footage too and none of what the girl says about Tarun Tejpal is true”…
Who showed you the footage? I and most people havent seen the footage – rightly so, because legally we cant. So is the footage being shown to selected individuals in the media, the film world?
Does the footage show what happened inside the lift?



And I have seen the CCTV footage too and none of what the girl says about Tarun Tejpal is true.- yeh statement hai and then he has posted Manu Josephs article

STATUS ON ANURAG KAHSYAP– And I have seen the CCTV footage too and none of what the girl says about Tarun Tejpal is true.- yeh statement hai and then he has posted Manu Josephs article
le like this.
Jattin Kapoor I hope you realize the import of what you are saying… more so because your voice carries some def. influence. Also, your comment being open ended, leaves a scope of multiple interpretations. Yesterday at 01:43 · Like · 2
Somen Mishra Recognize that victims of trauma tell their stories in fragments and not chronologically. “It’s not good to say: ‘Oh, but you just said it happened this way,’” she said. –…/the_right_way_to_write_about_r.php… The right way to write about rape When Claudia Garcia-Rojas, an activist and advocate from Chicago, began assembli…See more Yesterday at 01:49 · Like · 3
Anurag Kashyap Somen Mishra see the footage and you will see more than that meets the eye Yesterday at 01:53 · Like · 2
Somen Mishra arre but how can you conclude what happened in the lift by looking at the footage outside? Some psychoanalysis that. Denying bail is unfair, politics at play, but to attack the girl to make his case look stronger is weird. i maybe completely wrong and whatever is the truth, but the tone of the article is nauseating, same strategy of get the daughter in the picture, project a family image, exactly what Tejpal did while appearing in court. the slant is bit obvious. Yesterday at 01:58 · Like ·
6 Deepak Swaminathan What was mentioned a s ‘in the footage ‘ in no way corroborates his story of consent. Yesterday at 02:02 · Like · 2
Anurag Kashyap See it Yesterday at 02:07 · Like
Gautam Kishanchandani is the footage available on the net? Yesterday at 02:10 · Like Sanjay Gandhi Padi lakdi laili.. Yesterday at 05:05 · Like
Gayatri Jayaraman That’s hardly possible to tell. A police officer I interviewed after the case told me “our problem is as a society we need victims to look and behave like victims. And here is a woman who is empowered aware clear and focused. We seem to be punishing her more for that, than we are punishing him for any crime”. That evidence, firstly should not be seen in isolation. It should not be seen by members of the public at all. It is court evidence. That it is being released in this manner itself speaks volumes of the character of the assailant. He may well be innocent. But let the courts decide that with due process of the law being followed. Yesterday at 07:48 · Edited · Like · 11
Zachary Coffin i hope your filmmaking isn’t becoming as careless as your language Yesterday at 08:24 · Like · 1
Gayatri Jayaraman Pls read a story in today’s Indian Express called ‘Here She is’ on page 14. It’s about a woman being proved right 23 yrs later and sticking to her story. Yesterday at 08:33 · Like · 1
Neeraj Serohi Hi Anurag! 1. Tejpal isnt half the crusader he has always claimed to be. 2. No smoke without fire. 3. If he did not do anythng….. WTF was he apologising for in the mails he sent to the victim. 4. Case is subjudice…..let the law take iits own course. Yesterday at 09:00 · Like · 2
Vishakha Singh I don’t buy it. No girl in her right mind would accuse a man this openly knowing fully well she neither has the money nor the influence to help her sail through this long battle . As far as Tejpal is concerned , He is a bullshitter! Yesterday at 11:15 · Like
Deepika Deshpande Amin That’s a very strong statement to make, Anurag! The first instinct of any woman who has been molested/ assaulted/ raped or harassed is to hide it and not create a scene. Yes ! Even educated and liberated women. So if you are basing your judgement on the fact that she walked out of the lift quietly without weeping and wailing like film rape victims, then you do not understand a woman’s thinking and the humiliation and shame she feels. 22 hours ago · Like · 2
Sona Mohapatra The CCTV footage ??!! You , an above intelligent man chooses to treat the CCTV footage as proof or otherwise ? 20 hours ago · Like · 1 Anurag Kashyap Well I believe what I saw, and it shows more than you expect. I wonder why the footage is not public. 19 hours ago · Like · 2 Anurag Kashyap Rest is all hypothesis.. 19 hours ago · Like
Anku Pande I may want to rephrase that to ‘what the girl says happened outside the lift is not true coz we dont see that in the cctv footage’ ….the rest what happened inside who knows and none of us other than the girl and tarun tejpa l will know how much was personal space intruded ..’none’ maybe an assumption too 19 hours ago · Edited · Like
Smm Ausaja The girl going ballistic definitely has a backing of you-know-who. The same haste wasn’t shown by the Goa govt in the various land scam and Mining loot cases, how come? If Tarun is wrong he should be punished, but if he isnt then its definitely witch-hunt. And its certainly NOT rape!! 19 hours ago · Like · 1
Anku Pande smm so a girl complaining about rape is going ‘ballistic’ and has to happen coz of backing otherwise girls keep quiet and dont complain?? secondly if finger penetration is not rape then neither should rod be..let the rapists on the bus go free or we have them in jail coz the girl died and it was too we decide rape on the basis of injury caused not sexual violation? 14 hours ago · Edited · Like · 2
Smm Ausaja We are debating presumptions… 19 hours ago · Like · 1 Anku Pande and I questioned your presumption… 19 hours ag o · Like · 1 Sid Mewara Assumptions, presumptions, dubious theories, people are so entrentched in their camps that they refuse to hear the otherside. Let it play out. 17 hours ago · Like · 2
Ravi Iyengar Since you have decided to pass the judgment, maybe you should have reviewed the footage with the girl and ask her views on any inconsistency before jumping to conclusions. In any case if it was consensual … Don’t you think they would have gone to a room or taken a room rather than do it in a lift. 14 hours ago · Like · 1
Malika Singh I agree with you Anurag. Not only is her statement inconsistent with the footage, if you know her like I know her, the question of non consent doesn’t even arise. We all know how she’s felt about Tarun for a long time. about an hour ago · Like · 1 Malika Singh For those saying often victims recollections of such incidents come with discrepancies, I want to point out that this young lady has been reporting on rape crimes across India an d knows how to break down events. Also many ‘drafts’ of her letter were written and sent out to others for feedback before sending to shoma. This isn’t an honest recounting of an incident. It is a direct calculation. And those referencing his apology to her, what few know is that she sent a mail asking for specific words and language to be used in his apology. Unfortunately the media doesn’t feel it necessary to leak that email even though they have it. Goes to show the extent of this level of targeting and demonizing. The truth will come out in time. about an hour ago · Like · 1
Anku Pande Malik I don’t know either of them. Know enough people who know both of them. And if I was going to talk of reputation and if we have to pass judgement on basis of what people say about these people or how these people are supposed to be then don’t even get me started on what people say about Tarun Tejpal and women. about an hour ago · Edited · Like
Anku Pande And Malika you mean to sa y because someone is interested in a person a case of sexual violation doesn’t arise ?? Marital rape complaints. Prostitutes abused. These cases probably don’t stand a chance in your court ? And smart girl getting a feedback on the letters before sending them out. about an hour ago · Edited · Like
Anku Pande Before the truth comes out a lot of truth of how people basically perceive these complainants, victims, accused etc etc comes out and that is the real eye opener about an hour ago · Like
Malika Singh I’m not going by what people say. I’ve never met Tarun tejpal in my life. But I know her very very well and I didn’t believe it for a minute. I have my own reasons and am entirely convinced based not only on my own experiences but also on facts that I am aware of in the case that have not been made public yet. This is a forum to weigh out opinions and this is mine. And no I don’t think attraction towards someone takes out the possibility of sexual violence but I also see her running back into the lift to be close to him for no reason whatsoever. She says dragged. It shows a skitter back in. I didn’t believe the accusations from day 1 and the footage only validates my beliefs. The rest, I agree is up to our fair and non biased courts. about an hour ago · Like · 1
Anku Pande There will be supporters for both. And more for the girl (which I find unfair too. Just coz a girl doesn’t mean she is innocent and has been victimised) my problem is we talking about CCTV footage outside the lift not inside. If I have to talk about who is lying. I can’t even though I know Tarun Tejpal has a pathetic reputation with regards to women. Someone with the cleanest reputation can cross the line and a serial rapist could have been honourable in that one case he is caught in. A player and a tease may have not wanted to go further ….. I don’t see how anyone can pass judgement on the whole episode. 57 minutes ago · Edited · Like Malika Singh Anku, I agree with you, none of us will ever know what really went down. Eventually most of us will go by what we know or think we know about someone. We will all make assumptions. I just hope a fair trial comes out of this. And that the information pu…See More 56 minutes ago · Like
Anku Pande Honestly I don’t get why are they emailing each other. I get emails were sent so they can be ‘leaked’ but if she sent an email to thank her… It’s a game all of it and god knows why. Is it because Tarun Tejpal did intrude so often into her space that …See More 50 minutes ago · Edited · Like Malika Singh Even I wonder what the deeper psychology of this is… 45 minutes ago · Like · 1 Anurag Kashyap Anku there wouldn’t be a supporter for her if you see the footage. I won’t say more 14 minutes ago · Like #
Anku Pande Oh dear then Thats going to be a tough one for her to not just defend but deal with the onslaught after it’s out. In all of this if the man is rightfully accused then good if he is pu nished. Girl if caught lying then really hope it’s exposed for one basic fact – Just on the basis of gender one can’t decide and assume who is the victim and who is the perp. 6 minutes ago ·

You cite Manu Joseph‘s piece in Outlook. That piece, that so insidiously builds sympathy for Tejpal, says about the footage: “Nothing in the young woman’s body language indicates sexually potent
conversation…They are not walking hand in hand, rather Tejpal is
leading her and she is following him…they are separated by the whole width of the lift, which is about five feet. There is an unhappy tension between them as they walk out….Also there is not a moment in the footage that shows the young woman exhibiting anything resembling physical affection for Tejpal.”
How do I break this to you – rape survivors dont behave like women in the Hindi films…They dont rush out of lifts yelling Bachao… Yes, they act ‘normal’. Yes, they try to appear as though nothing happened. The more so when the violator is someone they know, trust, and who has power over them (is a family member, family friend, boss, teacher etc…), when the consequence of making the violation public might mean loss of a job, loss of cherished friendships, relationships. No, raped women dont usually use martial arts on their violators, they try to get the trusted person violating them, to stop, they hope the problem will go away, they agonise long and hard about the consequences before they complain. If the father of a friend rapes a woman, if a husband of a friend molests someone, the survivors worry about the impact of the incident on their friend, their friendship. They hope, against hope, that the person will apologise, and stop.
And yes, in my experience, most survivors of gender violence forget or misremember small details – that’s because of the stark, traumatic impact of the LARGE detail of having been raped, of being told that to keep their job they must now subject to sex with the boss, the more so if the rapist is not a stranger but someone known and trusted.
Manu Joseph writes about the ‘fingertips’ sms that it could have been the words of a drunken man who thinks he’s flirting. Yes, arrogant rapists have been known to boast that the woman they raped enjoyed it. Honey Singh‘s songs tell us of that mindset quite eloquently. Did the footage as seen by Joseph suggest any flirtation on part of the woman?! No? Tejpal’s own letter admits the woman’s ‘clear reluctance’, and that he invoked his being her boss. He claims he withdrew the latter remark with a clear, cogent statement. If he wants us to believe that’s true, then he clearly wasnt so drunk as to not recognise that she was unhappy and felt imposed upon. AFTER this exchange, how could anyone believe that an sms by Tejpal saying ‘fingertips’ is ‘flirting’?!
The many respondents on your post Mr Kashyap, who say ‘We know the complainant, impossible for her to be raped’ are displaying classic, textbook victim-blaming tactics. No, it’s not ‘impossible’ for ANY woman to be raped – her being modern, emancipated, strong (even learning martial arts) cant be a guarantee that she wont be raped – especially by someone she knows, trusts and who has power over her.

The good part here, Mr Kashyap, is that your macho image of ‘man who makes film to inspire women to take up martial arts to resist rape’ has been taken down – by you yourself. You now stand exposed as a common or garden variety misogynist who thinks it’s the complainant who is ‘the accused’ and who is on trial.


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#Tehelkacase – CCTV footage and the close coterie of Tarun Tejpal #Vaw

Vrinda Grover , on Facebook
The CCTV footage has been shown to many carefully identified and selected persons in the media and influential and powerful persons, by family and close coterie of friends of Tarun Tejpal. This is in violation of the law and the order of the court. Yes, the family has a right to defend Tarun Tejpal, but not by committing unlawful and illegal acts.


The young woman journalist does not have a copy of the CCTV footage. Only the Prosecution and the defence have copies. I have not seen the CCTV footage. No one who has taken a public or private position asking for justice for the young woman journalist and asked for a fair trial, not prejudiced or overawed by the campaign conducted by Tarun Tejpal gang, has seen the CCTV footage. We are not supposed to see that footage because it reveals the identity of the woman journalist. That is the law. Can we leave some decisions to the court or does the English writing glitterati want to usurp the role of the Court, much like the khap panchayats.

urlYes, we must debate issues and cases of public importance. I do not support a gag order of any kind. Not even the one imposed by the Delhi High Court in favour of the former Supreme Court Judge in the case of the law intern.

On each occasion the friends and family of Tarun Tejpal have orchestrated a media campaign against the young woman journalist. The entire campaign hinges on the ‘young woman’s character’, which when decoded means the same old thing, her past sexual relationships. Please note, the modern day, English speaking or rather writing, khap panchayats have ruled in favor of Tarun Tejpal on precisely the same grounds. The woman complainant appears ‘normal’, it must be consensual. Bingo!

What is the “reasonable conduct” of a survivor of rape or sexual assault or sexual harassment or sexual abuse? Jurisprudence in India, will have to be engendered, to understand and comprehend this.

Is it a coincidence that these articles appear at a juncture when a bail petition will be moved for Tarun Tejpal in the Supreme Court. I firmly believe that under-trials have a right to bail. However, the jails are overcrowded with an under-trial population that is disproportionately POOR. Where the accused persons can threaten witnesses, or tamper with evidence or use their position to cause prejudice to a fair trial, their liberty is constrained through denial of bail. We do not have a witness-victim protection mechanism that offers any real security to the complainants and so at times bail should be refused.

We live in a real world where power, influence and position, can and does manipulate and subvert and truth. It appears that at times these results can be achieved even when the person is in custody. Even as the law stands by, as a mere spectator, indifferent to its promise to protect the woman’s dignity.

Also to all my friends and fellow travelers who are secular activists, anti-communal campaigners and civil libertarians, I have not overnight become naive, nor have I succumbed to some victim’s story. I am thinking with the same clarity, mental agility, and political astuteness, with which i engage with the Ishrat Jahan case, or Soni Sori, or the Muzaffarnagar gang rapes. In my struggle against fascism, I do not prioritize rights or victims. At the core of my politics lies freedom of all, including women.
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Protest against unethical media coverage of Tehelka Case #Vaw




Justice Markandey Katju


Press Council of India

New Delhi


01 April 2014


Dear Justice Katju,


The Network of Women in Media, India is deeply concerned about what appears to be a renewed media campaign that threatens the course of justice in the sexual assault and rape case involving the former editor of Tehelka, Tarun Tejpal.

In this connection we would like to call the attention of the PCI to two recent articles on the subject in two publications,The Citizen and Outlook.  The article in the former, headlined “Alleged victim’s testimony in the Tarun Tejpal case at variance with CCTV footage” (, which originally appeared under the byline of senior journalist Seema Mustafa, was later credited, on 31 March evening, to ‘Citizen Bureau’.  The article in the latter, headlined “What the elevator saw”( ), is by senior journalist Manu Joseph.


While ostensibly seeking to set the record straight, both articles are clearly biased in favour of the accused and seem to be a deliberate attempt to adversely influence public opinion against the complainant. Indeed, these articles appear to follow the familiar Standard Operating Procedure to silence women in cases of sexual violence, and bolster the impunity of perpetrators.


Further, both build their identical cases on the basis of CCTV footage that is not meant to be in the public realm.  There is a trial court order that clarifies that it is illegal to show, see and write about the footage, which is one of several items of evidence in an ongoing court case dealing with charges of rape.   It must be emphasised that the CCTV grab is just one piece of evidence, among many others, in the case. By presenting poor quality visuals as clinching evidence of innocence or guilt, credibility or implausibility – of the accused or the accuser – the articles fall short of journalistic standards and ethics. Any pre-trial article that does not analyse all the evidence related to the case is clearly prejudicial and unfair.


In addition, putting this footage – and detailed descriptions of it – into the public domain is a violation of the legal and ethical restrictions on reporting on cases of sexual violence, which aim to protect the privacy and dignity of victims and survivors by maintaining confidentiality and protecting their identities.


The articles also quote from the e-mail in which the young journalist informed her editor about her experience and asked for appropriate action to be taken by the company. This was a private communication between an employee and her supervisor, providing details that do not belong in the public sphere, and ought to be used, if at all, only with the author’s written consent.

To make matters worse, the articles also mention Tejpal’s references to “sexually potent conversation” and “highly erotic stories” as if these are incontrovertible facts. The article in The Citizen claims that “The Citizen is not repeating these, as while she has not denied the conversation, it is outside the realm of this report.”  This apparently principled stand is belied by the fact that the article clearly suggests that the complainant told “highly erotic stories” to the accused, thus attempting to build the case for a consensual sexual encounter, when in fact the complainant has clearly stated in no uncertain terms that she did not consent, which means that any sexual act committed on her amounts to rape.

While commenting on a matter that is now in the courts, journalists would do well to acquaint themselves with the new Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013. The interpretations of the visuals made in the two articles are not in accordance with the new provision (Explanation 2) on consent, which specifically states that lack of physical resistance is not enough to prove consent. Secondly, according to Sec. 53A in the Indian Evidence Act, for cases of all sexual offences, evidence of the character of the victim or of such person’s previous sexual experience with any person shall not be relevant on the issue of such consent or the quality of consent.  Also, the new Proviso added to Sec. 146 P of the Evidence Act states that in rape trials the “general immoral character or previous sexual experience” of the victim is not relevant and that, to determine the question of consent, it is not permissible to adduce evidence or to put questions in the cross examination of the victim about the “general immoral character or previous sexual experience” of the victim (whether to prove consent or the quality of consent).


The article in The Citizen also makes apparently contradictory and confusing references to what the so-called CCTV footage records and does not record. In the absence of CCTV confirmation of alleged amicable chatting, the piece cites “a hotel staffer” who was “apparently” “passing by,” “saw the two chatting and has given a statement to this effect.” Such hearsay touted as ‘evidence’ is against all norms and ethics of professional journalism.


As media professionals we are shocked and disturbed by these articles by senior journalists which appear to be part of an orchestrated campaign to prejudice the ongoing case and discredit the young journalist who accused her boss of sexual violence that amounts to rape under the new amendment passed in April 2013.


Clearly, the controversy over when a legitimate and ethical, if aggressive, pursuit of truth in the interest of justice turns into an illegitimate, unprincipled trial by media that can result in miscarriage of justice raises troublesome questions to which there are no easy answers, but certainly call for serious reflection. Senior members of the profession, who serve as examples to younger media practitioners, need to be particularly conscious about the grave consequences of thoughtless or irresponsible journalism, even if well-intentioned.


We reiterate that the case against Tarun Tejpal must be fought in court, not in the media, and certainly not through illegal or unethical means. We would also like to highlight the fact that the news media are meant to speak truth to power, not to misuse power on behalf of the powerful against the powerless.


We trust that the Press Council of India will immediately look into this matter and take appropriate action, including censuring the concerned publications, demanding an apology and preventing the circulation of such unethical pieces of journalism.


With kind regards and thanks for your attention,


Yours faithfully,


The undersigned, on behalf of the Network of Women in Media, India


Ammu Joseph, Bangalore

Geeta Seshu, Mumbai

Sameera Khan, Mumbai

Laxmi Murthy, Bangalore

Sharmila Joshi, Mumbai

Rajashri Dasgupta, Kolkata

Kalpana Sharma, Mumbai

Sandhya Taksale, Pune

Gita Aravamudan, Bangalore

Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Mumbai

Kaumudi Gurjar, Pune

Pushpa Achanta, Bangalore

Ramlath Kavil, Mumbai/Berlin

Ranjita Biswas, Kolkata

Rupa Chinai, Mumbai

Sandhya Srinivasan, Mumbai

Swapna Majumdar, New Delhi

Vasanthi Hariprakash, Bangalore

Vidya Venkat, New Delhi

Gauri Vij, Mumbai

And others.



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Tarun Tejpal’s family leaked CCTV footage on twitter #Vaw


Tarun Tejpal is presently lodged in Sada Sub-jail, Vasco (in south Goa), in Judicial Custody. File Photo
Special ArrangementTarun Tejpal is presently lodged in Sada Sub-jail, Vasco (in south Goa), in Judicial Custody. File Photo

The Crime Branch of Goa police has forwarded a recent complaint by the victim in the Tarun Tejpal case against the family members of the Tehelka co-founder to the State police’s Cyber Crime Cell for investigation.

The victim has complained to Investigating Officer (IO) Sunita Sawant that certain contents of the CCTV grab taken from the crime scene in the north Goa five star hotel have been leaked through Twitter.

Ms. Sawant confirmed she received a mail on March 19 in which the victim has named the family’s members and alleged that the leak had “hurt her privacy and dignity.”

Tejpal is presently lodged in Sada Sub-jail, Vasco (in south Goa), in Judicial Custody. His bail plea had been rejected earlier by the District and Sessions Court and recently by the Bombay High Court bench in Goa.

His applications — including a complaint against the IO for giving details of victim’s email ID, phone numbers, etc. in the charge sheet, and seeking all the documents made part of the charge sheet — are being heard in the Additional Sessions and Fast Track Court.

On the other hand, the prosecution has moved an application seeking expedition of the trial as per the mandate of Section 309 of the CrPC.


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#Tehelkacase – Tarun Tejpal’ s Press Statement and Reply from Kavita Krishnan #Vaw

Tarun J Tejpal

Tarun J Tejpal (Photo credit: Cmic Blog)

Tarun Tejpal‘s Press Statement

“If conclusive proof was needed of the political vendetta that has been
unleashed against me, under the guise of a sexual molestation
investigation, it has been emphatically provided today. In a blatant
attempt at twisting and concealing the facts, the Goa police while
filing a 3000 page highly spurious charge sheet, has not presented or
handed over the most crucial piece of evidence in this case, the CCTV
footage of the incidentIn my first and only press note of November 22nd 2013 I had urged,
“the police to obtain, examine and release the CCTV footage so that
the accurate version of events stands clearly revealed”. I said this
at a time, from Delhi, when I had neither accessed nor seen the
footage. But since I was the man on the spot I knew the truth of what
had happened.

It is violative of due process, to not make all collected evidence
available to the accused at the time of filing the charge sheet.  In
fact, receipt of the footage is what we have been impatiently waiting
for since the last three months. This duplicity is in keeping with the
sinister and motivated political vendetta that is being pursued.

I have been in jail since November 30th simply because the goa police,
clearly acting under the orders of their political bosses, have
refused to release this crucial footage of the relevant days, 7th and
8th November. This entire case hinges on the 130 and 45 seconds (as
per the charge sheet) of contested time which can be brought to light
via the CCTV footage. The goa police know their fabricated case will
collapse the moment the footage is revealed and compared with the
‘testimony’ of the alleged victim, on the basis of which the Goa
police filed it’s FIR under draconian provisions.

As it were, I viewed the relevant footage of both days whilst being
‘held’ in police custody and the footage clearly validates me. The
fact is most of the officers in the crime branch know there is no
case, and have said as much to me. Even so the IO has been pursuing an
agenda spelt out for her by her political masters, totally violating
the principle of police neutrality.

I’m afraid what we are witnessing here is an early sign of the
inherent fascism of the right wing that will target its detractors in
the most sinister and underhand ways, using all the government
machinery at its disposal. This is a warning shot across the bows of
all liberals and opponents of communal politics. It’s a crying shame
that a major party that is bidding to rule the great pluralism that is
India is imbued with no tolerance of dissenters and critics, of whom I
certainly am one.”

Response by Kavita Krishnan

It’s Tejpal who wants the public (through media) to try and declare him innocent, and for this pressure to prevail on the Court. And that’s why he is using media and social media liberally to sow suspicions about the complainant‘s politics and her character, her demeanor, her smile and so on. That’s why his friends send mails with her photos asking – “Check out her pose! Is she traumatised? No! Is she happy? Yes!” That’s why Tejpal says make the CCTV footage public: he wants the general public to be voyeurs, examining the woman, putting her smile, her demeanor, her gait, on trial, ready to declare her guilty if her manner, her gait, her demeanor dont conform to the 70s Hindi film stereotype of the raped woman jiski izzat lut gayi. 
We in the women’s movement can only hope that the Courts wont behave like the ‘court of public opinion.’ You see, if a woman is brutalised, her bloodied body/corpse available as incontestable proof of her victimhood – in conformity with those Hindi movie images we just talked about – then the Courts MIGHT hand out righteous death sentences because ‘public opinion’ so demanded. MIGHT – because here too for a Bhotmange or a Manorama or a Soni Sori, the brutalised body is no guarantee of public opinion or Courts perceiving the heinousness of the crime. In other cases – where the rape survivor doesn’t have a bloodied body to display to gratify the avid voyeurs, the ‘peanut-crunching crowd’ – the Courts are again all too likely to mirror public opinion and declare that the woman doesn’t really look or behave ‘raped’ enough. Even when the Courts appear to be ‘sensitive’ to women, there’s a catch. There is one landmark verdict of the SC which holds that rape convictions can take place even on the ‘sole testimony’ of the woman complainant. But the verdict actually says that “It is conceivable in the Western Society that a female may level false accusation as regards sexual molestation against a male” but “A girl or a woman in the tradition bound non-permissive Society of India would be extremely reluctant even to admit that any incident which is likely to reflect on her chastity had ever occurred” and therefore isnt likely to lie about rape! The detailed argument in this verdict is has sickeningly sexist imaginings of why ‘Western’ women are likely to lie about rape:
Not surprisingly, this notion of ‘chaste Indian woman’ vs ‘loose Westermised woman’ is what Tejpal’s defence is relying upon. In his bail plea, Tejpal’s lawyer quoted this verdict to argue that she could not be raped, the sex must be consensual because the complainant is “a “liberated, emancipated modern woman”.
So, women can only HOPE – against hope – that the Courts will stand aloof from public opinion, and will deliver justice on merits of the case rather than on jaundiced notions about how raped, tightly-bound Indian women are supposed to behave, as opposed to loose, liberated, modern women…
Tejpal claims there’s no evidence against him, that the chargesheet is flimsy. Now, we dont have to judge him guilty or innocent now. But the charges are by no means flimsy as he suggests. Rather, there’s an embarrassment of weighty facts – straight from Tejpal’s own words – enough to make this a very very serious case.
Tejpal claimed in his email to his friends that the whole thing was “an incredibly fleeting, totally consensual encounter of less than a minute in a lift (of a two-storey building!).” Well, the chargesheet establishes based on the CCTV footage that the lift took much longer than the usual to make the 2-storey climb, certainly much longer than the ‘less than a minute’ claimed by Tejpal. This unwarranted time in the lift the first time and the footage of him taking her by the arm and pulling her into the lift on a second occasion (a second encounter which his email to friends didnt mention) is certainly grounds for invoking IPC 341 (Wrongfully restrain), 342 (wrong confinement).
Moreover, his own ‘apology’ email established him admitting to invoking his status as her boss – though he claims he retracted it. The very fact that he admits to invoking it to overcome what HE calls her ‘clear reluctance’, goes to show a strong basis for invoking 376(2) (f) (person in position of trust for authority over a women committees rape on such women) and 376(2) (k) (rape of a women by a person being in position of control or dominance over the women) IPC.
And the testimony of several of the complainant’s colleagues that she told them IMMEDIATELY after the first episode, that she was assaulted, and of course her own complaint that has remained stable and unchanged from minute 1 while Tejpal’s has mutated time and time again, are pretty strong ground for invoking Section 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354-A (outrage modesty). Mind you, I say these are undeniably strong grounds for the chargesheet: it isn’t for me to judge him guilty or not, I leave that to the Court.
Finally, Tejpal claims that his arrest is “an early sign of the inherent fascism of the right wing that will target its detractors in the most sinister and underhand ways, using all the government machinery at its disposal. This is a warning shot across the bows of all liberals and opponents of communal politics. It’s a crying shame that a major party that is bidding to rule the great pluralism that is India is imbued with no tolerance of dissenters and critics, of whom I certainly am one.” Well, I know neither Mr. Tejpal nor the complainant personally. I know them both from their work as journalists and public intellectuals.

And I can say: Mr Tejpal, you dont have to be male and a senior editor to be a ‘dissenter and critic’ against communal politics. The complainant – a young journalist who has done courageous and forthright journalism – is no less a dissenter and a critic. And we who stand up for her rights, are no less dissenters and critics.

And Mr Tejpal trivialises the anti-fascist struggle by trying to use it to demand impunity from accusations of rape. Being a dissenter and a critic doesnt provide us with some kind of AFSPA-type shield to being prosecuted for rape.
Finally, can we please keep the word ‘draconian’ confined to the laws like AFSPA, MCOCA, sedition and so-forth? The new rape law is NOT draconian. It very correctly expands the definition for rape & provides graded punishments for different situations of sexual violence; and it very correctly states that consent cant be presumed without a clear YES by word or gesture by the woman. These are not draconian provisions. Ten years for the compound crimes Tejpal is accused of is not excessive necessarily. It should jolt us that Tejpal’s friend can refer to what he is accused of as a ‘mere pass’. Sorry guys. Even a ‘pass’ is now sexual harassment. And holding a woman against her will in a closed space, disrobing her and forcing your finger or tongue inside her private parts simply isnt a ‘pass’ – and it’s downright scary that some can think of it as such. The same pal of Tejpal’s said, chillingly, that if this is rape 50% of editors and CEOs will be in jail for rape. Do editors and CEOs (Tejpal’s pal seems to think these are all male) really see it as their entitlement to do these things to their woman employees?! If so, it reminds me of the sense of entitlement that Bihar landlords used to expect as their due from dalit woman workers in fields in the 1980s. Those bosses who think women have to submit to such treatment must indeed be in jail.
I am willing to discuss, in a general context, the need to retain some discretion for the judge in sentencing – but I’ll do so in a context of concern for justice for women, so that Courts should not be deterred from convictions, and discretion should not move from the judges to the cops. And I’ll discuss these when we have some evidence of the fact that the new law is indeed acting against women’s interests in this regard. To use those concerns and debates of the women’s movement to paint Tejpal as a victim is abhorrent.
And to those who accuse feminists of defending a draconian law to play ‘media darlings’: let’s recall that the women’s movement has consistently – on the same media – articulated and defended the UNPOPULAR positions against draconian provisions of death penalty and lowering of the age of juvenility and raising of age of consent. We have interrupted the media’s self-congratulatory narratives on Tejpal or Asaram to remind them of their own double standards on Manorama, Kunan Poshpora, Soni Sori, countless Bastar rapes, rapes of dalit women in Haryana and so on. The same activists who make use of a few minutes in the media to counter the insidious campaign of vilification that Tejpal & his pals are carrying out against the complainant, have also spoken – again in the face of abuse and hate-speech – against the hanging of Afzal Guru and the conviction of Shehzad in the Batla House case. I am one of the handful of people who have, after carefully examining available evidence rather than the feverish imaginings of a sexist media campaign, questioned the obnoxious, appalling Aarushi verdict, which was a ‘media trial’ if ever there was one. A secular friend who today accuses me of participating in media trials in the case of ‘secular’ rape-accused men, was only too happy to repeat the prejudiced misinformation peddled by a media in the Aarushi case, warning me to stick with public opinion rather than my own assessment and conscience in that case! I have also spoken AGAINST ‘potency tests’ for Asaram and Tejpal both – I hold potency tests to be just as demeaning, unscientific and humiliating as 2-finger tests for rape survivors.
What about bail for Tejpal? I believe bail is a right that all undertrials are entitled to – and I along with many others have thanklessly struggled for bail for NOIDA workers, Maruti workers, held on far far flimsier grounds. Soni Sori got bail after years of incarceration. Many of my own comrades languish in jail without bail – on cooked up charges relating to mass movements led by them. In the case of those accused of heinous crimes, Courts tend to deny bail irrespective of how flimsy the charges are – and this is nothing to do with the new rape law, it has been the case for lonf before last year. So, Tejpal cant claim he’s being denied bail because of a political vendetta or because of a ‘draconian’ law. Rather, if at all he gets bail, it will be because he has a posse of lawyers and he is viewed as ‘respectable’ and ‘respected’ – unlike your average worker or slum dweller or common man/woman accused. And if he gets bail, I would not oppose it.
So no. These very phrases ‘media darlings’, ‘BBM-ing feminists’ and so on are themselves redolent of rank sexism. We do the cause of democracy and secularism a grave injustice by resorting to this manner of campaign. Tejpal is entitled to a defence, surely. But we cannot allow the complainant to be subjected to a moralistic, voyeuristic pillory on the pretext of his defence. She is being put through hell, has had her mindspace and professional world turn from a zone of comfort and achievement into an ugly space of abuse and jeers – not because of her own actions but just because she made the hard decision to complain about rape by her boss. This is the tough, painful world of rape survivors. For those of us who ask why we activists cant remain ‘neutral’ – well, survivors and complainants get through this hell because they rely on the women’s movement to support them through it. So, yes, we are not going to stop supporting rape complainants because the accused happens on occasion to be part of the secular or democratic camp. That’s because democracy includes women’s rights.


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