Tarun Tejpal is fighting to protect his wealth, I am fighting to preserve my integrity, says woman journalist

The woman journalist who accused Tehelka founder and former editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal of sexually assaulting her in a Goa hotel, has issued a fresh statement. Here is the full text of the statement.

I am heartened by the broad support I have received over the past fortnight. However, I am deeply concerned and very disturbed by insinuations that my complaint is part of a pre-election political conspiracy.

I categorically refute such insinuations and put forward the following arguments:

1. The struggle for women to assert control over their lives and their bodies is most certainly a political one, but feminist politics and its concerns are wider than the narrow universe of our political parties. Thus, I call upon our political parties to resist the temptation to turn a very important discussion about gender, power and violence into a conversation about themselves. Suggestions that I am acting on someone else's behest are only the latest depressing indications that sections of our public discourse are unwilling to acknowledge that women are capable to making decisions about themselves for themselves.

2. In this past week, television commentators who should know better, have questioned my motivations and my actions during and after Mr. Tejpal molested me. Some have questioned the time it took for me to file my complaint, more inquisitive commentators have questioned the use of the word "sexual molestation" versus words like "rape." Perhaps the hardest part of this unrelentingly painful experience has been my struggle with taxonomy. I don't know if I am ready to see myself as a "rape victim", for my colleagues, friends, supporters and critics to see me thus. It is not the victim that categorizes crimes: it is the law. And in this case, the law is clear: what Mr. Tejpal did to me falls within the legal definition of rape.

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