Ex-bureaucrats express outrage over Akbar issue

Last Updated : 18 October 2018, 04:52 IST

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Hours before M J Akbar announced his resignation from the union council of ministers, a group of former top bureaucrats wrote a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind expressing their anguish at the Modi government’s failure to take action against the minister facing allegations of sexual misconduct.

“We write this letter to express our deep disappointment and outrage at the conspicuous lack of action by the Government of India in responding to the statements by sixteen women regarding the sexual harassment faced by them from a person who is today a member of the Union Council of Ministers,” the former bureaucrats said in the letter, a copy of which was marked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“We earnestly request you, as the first citizen of our country, to advise the Government of India to seek the resignation of Shri Akbar, failing which it should recommend his removal from the Union Council of Ministers,” the former bureacrats said.

Among the signatories to the letter include former national security adviser Shiv Shankar Menon, former foreign secretary Sujata Singh, former health secretary Keshav Desiraju, former agriculture secretary Siraj Hussain, former chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, former secretary planning commission N C Saxena, retired IPS officers Julio Ribeiro and Meeran Borwankar among others.

They also requested the President to issue directions to the central and state governments to put in place robust mechanisms to ensure that women can engage in gainful employment free of the fear of sexual harassment.

They also wanted the President to ask the centre and the states to ensure that all organisations— in public and private sectors— follow the provisions of the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Act in both letter and spirit.

Published 17 October 2018, 17:39 IST

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