#MeToo: Six women accuse MJ Akbar of sexual harassment
New Delhi : Nothing less than six female employees have come on record accusing Minister of State of External Affairs M J Akbar of sexual harassment when he was an editor for a news publication.
MJ Akbar, who is on a visit to Nigeria, has not responded in the matter so far. He is also the first political figure accused of sexual harassment in the trending #MeToo campaign; before him, names of people from the entertainment world were exploding the social media.
Journalist Priya Ramani shared her experience with MJ Akbar. She mentions that the then editor had called her for the interview in his hotel room; it looked more like a date where Mr Akbar was offering her drinks and singing songs. He also asked her to sit on his bed, “gesturing to a tiny space near you,” which she declined to do.
Ramani shared her story with a tweet on Monday.
Suparna Sharma, currently the Resident Editor of The Asian Age, Delhi, was in her early 20s, she said when she became a part of the launch team of the newspaper where she worked from 1993 to 1996. She reported to Akbar. One day, she told The Indian Express, that she was making the page one of the paper, Akbar was “standing behind” her. “He plucked my bra strap and said something which I don’t remember now. I screamed at him,” recalled Sharma.
Kanika Gahlaut, Prerna Singh Bindra, Shutapa Paul are among other female journalists who have shared their bad experiences with MJ Akbar.