MJ Akbar: India minister under scrutiny over #MeToo allegations

MJ AkbarImage copyrightGetty Images
Image caption Mr Akbar has not responded to the allegations against him

A former prominent newspaper editor who is now a junior foreign minister is the latest to be named in what is being called India’s #MeToo movement.

MJ Akbar is accused of predatory behaviour, including inviting young women to hotel rooms for “meetings”.

Neither Mr Akbar nor the foreign ministry have responded to the allegations against him.

But another minister, Maneka Gandhi, said all allegations, including those against politicians, must be probed.

He is the most senior person so far to be named in the flurry of allegations that have been made against comedians, journalists, authors, actors and filmmakers in the last few days.

One of India’s most influential editors, Mr Akbar has edited leading English-language newspapers such as The Telegraph and The Asian Age.

He was first named on Monday by senior journalist Priya Ramani, who retweeted an article she had written for Vogue India a year ago titled “To the Harvey Weinsteins of the world”, where she recounted what she called her first experience of workplace harassment.

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Ms Ramani did not name anyone in the original piece, but said in Monday’s tweet that the article had been about Mr Akbar.

Since then, five other women have also come forward with their own stories, naming Mr Akbar. At least one other anonymous account is believed to be about him.

Apart from Mr Akbar, veteran actors Alok Nath and film director Vikas Bahl have been accused of sexual assault. Nath has denied the allegations, while Bahl has not responded.

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