India

MJ Akbar resigns as Union minister after 20 journalists pledge to testify against him

#MeToo: Akbar said he will seek justice in a court of law in his personal capacity.

New Delhi: Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar resigned on Wednesday after pressure on him increased to quit as multiple women journalists accused him of sexual harassment.

This came after 20 journalists, who worked at Asian Age under him, pledged to testify in court against him in support of their colleague Priya Ramani.

“Since I have decided to seek justice in a court of law in my personal capacity, I deem it appropriate to step down from office and challenge false accusations levied against me, also in a personal capacity. I have, therefore, tendered my resignation from the office of Minister of State for External Affairs. I am deeply grateful to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and to the external Affair Minister Smt Sushma Swaraj for the opportunity they gave me to serve my country,” Akbar, 67, said in a statement.

Read: ‘He forced his tongue into my mouth’: Woman who was harassed by Akbar when she was an 18-yr-old intern

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

Akbar has been named in multiple accounts that have surfaced in the #MeToo movement that started in India after former actor Tanushree Dutta accused her co-star Nana Patekar of harassment during a film shoot 10 years ago.

This is how others reacted to the news:

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