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M J Akbar, head of some prominent newspapers such as The Asian Age and The Telegraph has been now accused of sexual harassment. He was blamed of harassing the younger women especially newcomers. Yesterday he was exploring legal action against these allegations which according to him are baseless and wild. MJ Akbar said ‘blames without evidence has become a viral fever amid several sections.’ M J Akbar said that he would be taking strong legal actions against women who charged him against them.
After the rejection of M J Akbar, five of the women who accused him supposed that they stood by their statements. Resident Editor, The Asia Age, Suparna Sharma said ‘I stand nu my testimony of the two incidents. One incident in which he plucked my bra straps and other one is when he stares at my breasts. I stand by the fact that she had been done the same with other women too in the office.’ She added that ‘I am very disappointed with M J Akbar response but not surprised at all. This will be a longish battle, and the next step is a legal step.’
M J Akbar returned to India yesterday only. After returning, he termed all allegations as false and fabricated. He also refused to resign owing to the allegations against him under Me Too Movement. Just like normal days, he attended his office where he has to attend many important meetings. The time he was leaving his office, he was seen avoiding the questions of journalists who lodged outside his office.
This accusation against M J Akbar begun when on 8th October, journalist Priya Ramani tweeted that M J Akbar was the man she referred to in an incident which she shared in an article a year ago. It was the time when the Harvey Weinstein scandal in the US fuelled the #Me Too. The moment Ramani named him some more women exposed their stories against M J Akbar. Some names include Kanika Gahlout, Kadambari M Wade, Ghazala Wahab, Shutapa Paul, Prerna Singh Bindra, Anju Bharti, Suparna Sharma, Shuma Raha, Malini Bhupta and Ruth David.
M J Akbar clarification against the allegations
On this matter, Mr. M J Akbar alleged that ‘A year ago Priya Ramani started its campaign with her article in which she did not name me. She knew that the story was not correct. When asked why she did not name me she replied ‘never named him as he hasn’t done anything.’ Ask her if I have not done anything then where and what is the story about’.
He also supposed that ‘two journalists who blamed him still worked with him even after the alleged incidents took place. This apparently clarifies that they had no apprehension and uneasiness. In terms of another incident, M J Akbar said that office space is very small and this type of incident could not be unnoticed by anyone at any cost.
Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj did not comment on this matter. On the other hand, Maneka Gandhi and Smriti Irani strongly supported this ME Too Campaign and also asked for an investigation. The opposition rejected the response of M J Akbar. On another side Anand Sharma, a Congress member demanded PM Modi respond and speak on Akbar’s matter. Till now there is no reply from their side, in fact, BJP refused to respond to any query on M J Akbar.
On all these allegations M J Akbar said that allegations were politically motivated as ‘Why this storm raised few months before the general elections. Is there any agenda or plan?’