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Former Minister MJ Akbar denies rape allegation; calls relationship ‘consensual’

MJ Akbar

New Delhi | Former Minister of External Affairs (state) MJ Akbar on Friday denied the rape allegations charged against him by an US-based journalist. Terming the allegations as false Akbar further stated that the relationship between them was consensual.

Responding to the allegations, the former minister said, “On Oct 29, The Washington Post forwarded to my lawyers a series of cryptic and non-specific questions, regarding incidents alleged to have taken place approximately 23 years ago. These allegations were false and were consequently denied.” Commenting on his relationship Akbar further clarified,”Somewhere around 1994, Ms. Pallavi Gogoi and I entered into a consensual relationship that spanned several months. This relationship gave rise to talk and would later cause strife in my home life as well. This consensual relationship ended, perhaps not on best note.”

Earlier today Pallavi Gogoi working as a Chief Business Correspondent of National Public Radio (NPR) in her Washington Post article had accused MJ Akbar of raping her during her stint as an editor of The Asian Age in 1994. Gogoi further accused MJ Akbar of sexually harassing her on several occasions prior to the incident. She said that Akbar had tried to kiss her. In another incident, he “scratched” her face when she tried to resist. “He threatened to kick me out of the job if I resisted him again,” wrote Pallavi.

Former Journalist MJ Akbar resigned from his Ministerial post after been accused of sexual harassment by various female journalists in the ongoing #MeToo campaign during his tenure as Editor of various newspapers. Journalist Priya Ramani had alleged that Akbar during his tenure as an Editor of a newspaper made her feel uncomfortable and harassed her in a hotel room.

After Ramani’s allegations various female journalists including Prerna Singh Bindra, Ghazala Wahab, Shutapa Paul, Anju Bharti, Suparna Sharma, Shuma Raha, Malini Bhupta, Kanika Gahlout, Kadambari M Wade, Majlie de Puy Kamp and Ruth David spoke against Akbar.

 

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