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India: Minister resigns on allegations of sexual abuse



(NEW DELHI) ​​- MJ Akbar, India's junior foreign minister, resigned Wednesday on charges of 20 women's sexual harassment during his earlier career as one of the country's most prominent news editors, becoming the most powerful man to fall in India

Akbar said in a statement that he would "challenge" false allegations in a personal capacity, referring to a criminal case he filed against the first woman on Monday to accuse him.

Akbar, 67, first From 1989 to 1991, he served as legislator for the then ruling India National Congress Party of India. He then edited The Telegraph, The Asian Age, and other newspapers and authored several books on nonfiction and became one of the most influential figures in Indian news media.

He returned to public life in March 201

4 when he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party and was appointed national spokesman during the 2014 election, leading the BJP and Prime Minister N

Akbar held back after being drafted in the Joined the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in July 2016 as his junior minister representing India at multinational conferences overseas.

On Wednesday, he thanked Modi for his allegations of being able to serve in public office

In the deeply conservative Indian society, the #Metoo movement began late, but has picked up speed in recent weeks. Since September, Indian actresses have flooded social media with allegations of sexual harassment and abuses by their superiors and colleagues.

The accusation against Akbar began when journalist Priya Ramani identified him on Twitter as an unnamed publisher on October 8, describing it in a story about sexual harassment in the newsroom, which was published in Vogue last year.

Other women in the media have claimed that Akbar interrogated candidates in hotel rooms at night; applauds, massages and forcibly kisses young interns and employees; and offered young women to post outside the city so he could visit them there.

On Sunday, after an official visit to West Africa, Akbar dismissed the allegations as "false, baseless, and fierce." [196592002] The next day, dozens of members of the Youth Wing of the Congress Party collided with the police outside Akbar's New Delhi House and demanded his resignation.

Akbar then filed criminal proceedings against Ramani and issued a statement questioning the motives of his prosecutors

"Why has this storm risen a few months before the general election?" He asked.

Modi hopes to participate in the elections early next year.

On Tuesday, 20 women signed a statement asking the court to hear Akbar's lawsuit against Ramani so they could testify against him.

Ramini wrote on Twitter on Wednesday: "As women we feel confirmed by MJ Akbar's resignation, I look forward to the day when I will also get justice in court" MeToo "

Arti Jerath, a journalist and Political commentator, who is not one of Akbar's prosecutors, said his resignation should have come sooner.

"The fact that he chose to open it up made him embarrass himself and embarrass the government she said, "I'm glad he's finally gone."


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