The Hush Post | 7:30 PM | 2 minute-read
On Sunday, Union Minister of State for External Affairs Minister M J Akbar said, the allegations of sexual harassment against him are false and fabricated. He said, now he will take legal action against the women journalists who have raised these allegations against him, as earlier he was on an official tour abroad.”
“Lies do not have legs, but they do contain poison, which can be whipped into a frenzy. This is deeply distressing. I will be taking appropriate legal action,” the minister said, rubbishing all allegations of sexual harassment.
In a statement to a news agency, Akbar said, allegations without any proof has become a viral fever among some sections. Whatever be the case, now that I have returned, my lawyers will look into these wild and baseless allegations in order to decide our future course of legal action.
Akbar, a veteran journalist, faces serious allegations of sexual harassment. The first allegation was made by journalist Priya Ramani. His response was,
Ms Priya Ramani began this campaign a year ago with a magazine article. She did not, however, name me as she knew it was a lie. When asked recently why she had not named me, she replied, in a tweet: “Never named him because he didn’t ‘do’ anything.” If I didn’t do anything, where and what is the story? There is no story.
One woman, Anju Bharti, went to the absurd extent of claiming I was partying in a swimming pool. I do not know how to swim. Ms Ghazala Wahab had repeatedly made allegations in an effort to damage my reputation. She claimed that she had been molested in office, 21 years ago. This is 16 years before I entered public life, and when I was in media. The only office where I worked with her was that of The Asian Age.
A part of the editorial team then worked out of a small hall. At the time concerned, I had a very tiny cubicle, patched together by plywood and glass. Others had tables and chairs two feet away. It is utterly bizarre to believe that anything could have happened in that tiny space, and, moreover, that no one else in the vicinity would come to know, in the midst of a working day. These allegations are false, motivated and baseless.
Wahab states that she complained to Ms Veenu Sandal, who wrote features for the paper. Ms Sandal has described Ms Wahab’s version as nonsense, in an interview to the Indian Express. Sandel has also said that she has never heard, in 20 years, anybody accusing me of any such thing.
Both Ms Ramani and Ms Wahab kept working with me even after these alleged incidents; this clearly establishes that they had no apprehension and discomfort. The reason why they remained silent for decades is very apparent: as Ms Ramani has herself stated, I never did anything. This is the reason why no one went to the authorities for so long, because I had done nothing.
Why has this storm risen a few months before a general election? Is there an agenda? You be the judge. These false, baseless and wild allegations have caused irreparable damage to my reputation and goodwill. This is deeply distressing. As indicated above, I will be taking appropriate legal action.