MeToo fire reaches corporate world, police; one more charge against Akbar
New Delhi : After ravaging the media and film industry, the #MeToo campaign on Friday hit the corporate world with Tata Motors sending one of its senior executives on leave following allegations of inappropriate behaviour with employees even as another woman journalist, this time from the US, accused M.J. Akbar of sexual misconduct when he was Editor of The Asian Age newspaper.
In another development, a woman Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in Jammu and Kashmir on Friday came out with charges of harassment for sexual favours against one of her seniors, an Additional Director General who has retired earlier this year.
Tata Motors sent its Corporate Communications chief Suresh Rangarajan on leave. In a series of tweets, Tata Motors said the allegations against its executive were being investigated and an appropriate action would be taken after the inquiry.
"In light of the inquiry by ICC (Internal Complaints Committee), Suresh Rangarajan has been asked to proceed on leave in order to allow for an objective inquiry to be completed as swiftly as possible," it said.
"At Tata Motors, we have always striven to ensure a respectful and safe workplace for everyone. Any allegations are investigated and appropriate action is taken immediately. This matter has already been taken up for investigation by the ICC. Any such behaviour is against the Tata code of conduct," it said.
On Thursday, a journalist posted screenshots on her Twitter account of allegations against the Tata executive.
On Friday, yet another woman journalist came out with her MeToo story against Akbar, who is now Minister of State for External Affairs.
Majlie de Puy Kamp, currently working with the CNN, told online news portal HuffPost India that Akbar forcibly kissed her on the last day of her internship at The Asian Age office in 2007.
Akbar has already been accused of sexual assault by other women journalists when he was editor in various publications.
Also, Jammu and Kashmir DSP Shashi Thakur levelled allegations of sexual harassment at the hands of former Additional Director General of Police Alok Puri in 2015.
Thakur said on social media the she raised her voice against the land mafia in the state but she "had to face sexual harassment in the hands of the then Director Vigilance Alok Puri.
"Despite complaints against him that I filed, no one took action against him. Waiting for Justice," Thakur said.
Speaking to Times Now channel, Thakur said Puri asked for an undue sexual favour to get a FIR registered against the culprits involved in the land grabbing case.
Puri dismissed the allegation as "nonsense".
Meanwhile, Satadru Ojha, Editor, Calcutta Times, against whom sexual harassment allegations have been levelled by three woman journalist colleagues, "has been relieved of his current duties and relocated to a different role and city to facilitate an unbiased investigation".
The MeToo movement in India was ignited by Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta who levelled allegations against actor Nana Patekar, who had denied the charges. Since then, a string of women have come out with their odeal both in Bollywood and against M.J. Akbar.