Vindicated, say women journalists after Akbar quits

Over a dozen journalists have accused the former journalist of sexual harassment and molestation

New Delhi: Women journalists who accused former editor MJ Akbar of sexual harassment expressed happiness over him quitting as the Minister of State for External Affairs.

Journalist Priya Ramani was first to go public with her accusation and is facing a defamation suit filed by Akbar.

“As women, we feel vindicated by MJ Akbar’s resignation. I look forward to the day when I will also get justice in court,” Ramani tweeted.

More than a dozen journalists have accused Akbar of sexual harassment and molestation. He filed a defamation suit against Ramani alleging that “scandalous allegations” have been made to damage his image in society.

Journalist Suparna Sharma, who had accused Akbar of plucking her bra strap, said the fight was not over.

“Akbar should have resigned immediately after returning to India instead of issuing a statement,” said Sharma referring to Akbar’s Sunday statement where he rubbished the allegations and questioned the motive behind them.

“When he issued the statement, it seemed it was government versus Priya Ramani. Now that he has resigned, it is Akbar vs Priya Ramani,” she said insisting the former minister should withdraw the defamation case against Ramani.

“We don’t know who is backing and supporting him, but I am happy and glad that he has stepped down. The longer he fights this battle against Ramani, more women will come out,” she said.

Journalist Harinder Baweja, who had also accused Akbar, wondered if Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj would now “break their silence”.

“Akbar should have done it [resigned] much earlier. Staying on also reeked of a sense of entitlement. As a next step, he should withdraw the defamation suit unless MJ Akbar wants to continue defaming himself,” Baweja said on twitter.

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