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#MeToo: MoS MEA MJ Akbar Brands All Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Him As 'false And Fabricated', Claims Vendetta, Cites 2019 Elections And Threatens Legal Action. Read His Statement

Written By Digital Desk | Mumbai | Published:

Hack:

  • MoS MEA MJ Akbar has claimed that the allegations of misconduct against him are 'false and fabricated', spiced up by innuendo and malice
  • MJ Akbar has released a statement in which he has claimed to take a legal action against the accusations of sexual assault made against him

Far from confirming reports that he had tendered his resignation over the sexual harassment allegations that have been levelled against him by at least 13 women, MoS MEA MJ Akbar has issued a stunning statement denying the charges and alleging a political vendetta and 2019 election-angle to what he has claimed are 'false and fabricated' allegations, 'spiced up by innuendo and malice'. Furthermore, Akbar who returned to the country earlier on Sunday has stated the intention to take a legal action against his accusers.


Here is the full text of his statement, as given to news agency ANI:

Accusation without evidence 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. 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. 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.

Priya Ramani began this campaign a year ago with a magazine article. She did not, however, name me as she knew it was an incorrect story. 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. But a sea of innuendo, speculation & abusive diatribe has been built around something that has never happened. While some are total, unsubstantiated hearsay, there are others that confirm, on the record, that I didn’t do anything.

In one statement, Shutapa Paul states, “The man never laid a hand on me. Also, Shuma Raha says, “I must clarify, however, that he didn’t actually ‘do’ anything”. 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.

Another accusation was made repeatedly by Ms Ghazala Wahab, 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 Ghazala Wahab 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

Pertinent to remember, Ms Ramani & Ms Wahab kept working with me even after these alleged incidents. Clearly, this establishes that they had no apprehension & discomfort. Reason why they remained silent for decades is very apparent, as Ms Ramani has herself stated, I never did anything.

Read his full statement here:


Akbar is likely to meet his ministry's senior minister Sushma Swaraj later in the day. He had been called out by as many as 13 women --a number of whom are known journalists -- who took to social media and other forms of media to let the country know about the alleged harassment they had faced by the present Minister of State for External Affairs when he was working as a journalist. Following all the allegations against the MoS for External Affairs, MJ Akbar's position was under the scrutiny. 


Days before MJ Akbar's statement, UnionTextiles Minister Smriti Irani was questioned about her stance on the topic, to which she did not take any stand, and instead put an onus on the MoS asking himself to defend the allegations against him. She said, 

"I will only say this that the gentleman concerned would be better positioned to speak on this issue. I appreciate the media is accosting his female colleague but I think it is for him to issue a statement, not for me, because I was personally not present there. But I have said again and again that anyone speaking out, in no way should be shamed." 

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