New Delhi: Tehelka issued a statement Tuesday saying it is trying to persuade lawyers and activists to stay on a panel to investigate charges of sexual assault against editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal.

“There is a strong sense among lawyers and activists that a sexual harassment inquiry committee would not have any legal standing given a criminal inquiry by Goa Police was started Thursday and a criminal case was filed,” the news weekly said in a statement.

“Hence, many of the people Tehelka approached wish to recuse themselves from the committee. We are trying to persuade them to reconsider and remain committed to having such a committee to investigate this matter,” it said.

The statement comes after Zubaan Books clarified in a tweet early Tuesday that Urvashi Butalia, author and publisher, was not a part of any committee to probe Tejpal case.

Tehelka also said in the statement that it wrote to the complainant journalist asking her to suggest some names for the committee but she did not reply.

Tehelka claimed that it had approached author and publisher Urvashi Butalia, child rights activist Inakshi Ganguly, actress Sharmila Tagore, Justice Leela Seth, senior journalist Prem Shankar Jha, historian Uma Chakravarti, lawyer and rights activist Vrinda Grover and several others to join the probe panel.

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