BREAKING NEWS Details released about arrests from Chico standoff Full Story
SEVERE WX : Fire Weather Watch View Alerts

Indian minister MJ Akbar resigns amid sexual assault allegations

A series of allegations of sexual harassment and assault has prompted the resignation of an Indian governmen...

Posted: Oct 19, 2018 7:07 AM
Updated: Oct 19, 2018 7:07 AM

A series of allegations of sexual harassment and assault has prompted the resignation of an Indian government minister, the most prominent public figure named in the country's own #MeToo movement.

Facing allegations of groping, assault and harassment from former female colleagues, MJ Akbar, junior minister for foreign affairs, said he had decided to resign and challenge what he labeled "false accusations."

*MeToo movement

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal offenses

Discrimination

Intentional torts

Law and legal system

Libel and slander

Media industry

Resignations

Sex crimes

Sexual harassment

Sexual misconduct

Societal issues

Society

Torts

Assault and battery

Sexual assault

"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," he said.

Akbar, a former influential newspaper editor, left office after initially refusing to step down amid the wave of accusations in recent days.

Over the weekend, Akbar rejected growing calls to step aside, dismissing the allegations as false and vowing to go to the courts to clear his name, which he did Monday, suing the first of his accusers for defamation.

Defamation challenge

Akbar's defamation suit is aimed at journalist Priya Ramani, who named him last week as the subject of an article she had written for Vogue India in 2017.

In it, she describes an experience of workplace harassment during a job interview with an unnamed editor in a Mumbai hotel room.

On October 8, she tweeted to say that the unnamed editor was Akbar, making the first in a series of public allegations against the minister by former colleagues.

His lawsuit argues that Ramani had "willfully, deliberately, intentionally and maliciously" defamed him "on wholly and completely false, frivolous, unjustifiable and scandalous grounds."

Minutes after news of Akbar's resignation broke, 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 #metoo."

#MeToo chorus

India's #MeToo movement appears to have been spurred by allegations late last month by former Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta, who alleged that she had been a victim of assault allegedly at the hands of Nana Patekar, her co-star in a 2008 film.

In a news conference last week, Patekar dismissed the claims, saying, "My lawyers have told me not to speak to the media so I can't say anything. Otherwise, I would have said something in the past four days. This case is 10 years old, what was true then is true today."

In the weeks since Dutta made her allegations, accounts of sexual misconduct have shaken the wider media and entertainment industry.

In one high-profile case, a Bollywood production house has been dissolved following sexual harassment allegations against one of its co-founders.

A leading comedy outfit popular with Indian millennials was also shaken when a comedian it worked with faced harassment allegations.

And in the media industry, allegations of inappropriate behavior saw a prominent Delhi-based political journalist lose his position pending an internal investigation, according to reports.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 310885

Reported Deaths: 6955
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1274393744
Riverside24765537
Orange22650412
San Diego18863420
San Bernardino18275304
Imperial7759132
Fresno762787
Alameda7485147
San Joaquin627968
Kern619597
Santa Clara5863166
Tulare5678152
Sacramento515279
Contra Costa446088
Stanislaus436450
San Francisco431650
Ventura409353
Santa Barbara386829
San Mateo3846112
Marin336430
Kings285539
Monterey241918
Solano207528
Merced179312
Sonoma156114
Placer102111
San Luis Obispo9054
Madera8578
Yolo83928
Santa Cruz5373
Napa4774
Butte3384
Sutter3374
San Benito3112
El Dorado3070
Lassen2610
Shasta1766
Humboldt1654
Glenn1640
Nevada1631
Yuba1633
Lake1081
Mendocino1070
Colusa1030
Tehama981
Calaveras670
Tuolumne640
Del Norte600
Mono491
Siskiyou410
Amador360
Inyo341
Mariposa311
Plumas170
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 104° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 88°
Oroville
Clear
91° wxIcon
Hi: 104° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 91°
Paradise
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 97° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 88°
Chester
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 82°
Red Bluff
Clear
91° wxIcon
Hi: 105° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 91°
Willows
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 107° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 88°
A hot week will transform into an even hotter weekend over northern California as high pressure stays in control of our weather. No rain is in the forecast, but it will cool a bit by late next week.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events