MJ Akbar files case against journalist who accused him of sexual harassment

Union minister MJ Akbar has filed a criminal defamation case against the journalist who had accused him of sexual harassment, according to news agency ANI. The junior foreign minister, who has rejected the allegations as “false and fabricated”, filed the complaint in a Delhi court on Monday soon after he returned to work.

Over half-a-dozen women journalists have accused Akbar of harassment when he was an editor.

The junior foreign minister broke his silence on the allegations on Sunday, within hours of reaching the country from Africa and linked the campaign against him in context of the #MeToo movement to politics, more specifically the general elections next year.

The Congress’ Priyanka Chaturvedi had promptly questioned how a dozen women sharing their experiences could be a political conspiracy. Congress leader Anand Sharma had demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi speak on the allegation.

Today, the Congress followed up its attack with youth workers hitting the street near Akbar’s residence, waving flags and placards as they marched to Teen Murti Lane in the heart of the national capital.

Since last month, several actresses, writers and journalists have taken to social media with allegations of sexual harassment and assault by their superiors and colleagues, mainly at workplaces.

The BJP, which had so far refused to speak on the allegations against Akbar on one ground or the other, said he has given his version on the row. Asked if the ruling party agrees with Akbar, Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said: “It is not about agreeing or disagreeing. He has presented his version”.

Union ministers Maneka Gandhi and Smriti Irani have supported the #MeToo movement but have not spelt out their stand on the allegations against Akbar.

First Published: Oct 15, 2018 15:14 IST

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