Tuesday May 17, 2022

Sexual assault allegations baseless: Akbar

October 15, 2018

MUMBAI: Indian minister M J Akbar called the multiple allegations of sexual assault against him "wild and baseless" on Sunday, and said he plans to take legal action against the women who have made the accusations.

At least 10 women have gone public in the past week with accounts of having faced inappropriate behaviour and sexual harassment from Akbar, a former journalist who is now minister of state for external affairs in the Indian government.

Akbar, a veteran editor who founded several newspapers and magazines, is accused of a range of inappropriate behaviour by female journalists who previously worked as his subordinates.

"The allegations of misconduct made against me are false and fabricated, spiced up by innuendo and malice," said Akbar in a one-page statement given to Reuters partner ANI in India.

The #MeToo movement that began in the United States in response to accusations of sexual harassment and abuse by powerful men in media and entertainment, has spread to India in the last few weeks after a Bollywood actress accused a colleague of inappropriate behaviour on the sets of a film they were shooting in 2008.

Since then, over a dozen men in the worlds of media, entertainment and the arts have been accused of offences ranging from sexual harassment to rape.