Journalists stand by charges against M J Akbar

Journalists stand by charges against M J Akbar

Union minister M J Akbar, who is facing allegations of sexual harassment by a number of women journalists, at his residence after his arrival from a foreign tour, in New Delhi, Sunday, Oct 14, 2018. (PTI Photo)

Five Journalists rubbished the statement of Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar linking the charges to upcoming elections.

In his statement, Akbar questioned the motives behind the allegations asking “why has this storm risen a few months before a general election? Is there an agenda?"

The journalists told Indian Express that they stood by their revelations and have no political motive against Akbar.

READ: The list grows: MeToo firestorm singes Akbar

The Asian Age Resident Editor Suparna Sharma expressed her disappointment on Akbar's respond and said two incidents she levelled against Akbar are true and he did the same with other women in the office. "This is going to be a longish battle, and the next step in many cases is a legal step," said Sharma.

New York-based journalist Majlie de Puy Kamp (30), said: “I am not a citizen, I cannot vote. I do not have a political agenda. Plus, I have a paper trail. My father wrote an email to Akbar about the incident to which he responded. I have evidence. I am disappointed but not surprised by his statement. I am, however, very comfortable with my story.”

Priya Ramani, who revealed the name of Akbar as the unnamed editor mentioned in an article published last year in Vogue India, told Indian Express that none of these journalists has any political ambitions. "We are speaking up at great cost to our personal and professional lives," she added.

READ: #MeToo: Journalists join clamour for removal of Akbar

Kanika Gahlaut, a freelance journalist, said she and her friend has undergone Akbar's harassment.

Shutapa Paul said she was shocked after Akbar's statement. She said: "our fight is the fight for every woman; a fight for justice, a fight against feeling violated in the workplace and in daily life.”