Indian minister MJ Akbar said on Wednesday he had resigned to fight allegations of sexual harassment levied by several women, the biggest scalp in the country's #MeToo movement that gathered momentum last week.
Akbar has filed a defamation suit against one of the women who have accused him of a range of inappropriate behaviour during his career as a journalist before entering politics.
‘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 in a personal capacity,’ ANI, a Reuters partner, quoted Akbar as saying in a statement.
The #MeToo movement, which began in the United States more than a year ago in response to accusations of sexual harassment and abuse by powerful men in the entertainment industry, gained traction in India in late September after the actress Tanushree Dutta said prominent actor Nana Patekar behaved inappropriately on the sets of a film they were shooting in 2008.
Patekar has denied any wrongdoing.
Since then, more than a dozen men in the media, entertainment, political and art worlds have been accused of offences, ranging from sexual harassment to rape.
India is traditionally a conservative country, where discussions about sex are still taboo for many and where women have long lagged behind men in workplace participation.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Indian farmers block highway outside Delhi to mark 100th day of protest
Philippines reports 52 more cases of South African Covid-19 variant
Indian farmers plan major road blockade outside Delhi to mark 100th day of protests
NRIs overstaying due to lockdown to get tax relief
Efficacy data for India's own Covid-19 vaccine could boost public acceptance
Thousands demand India's top judge quit over rape remarks
Modi takes local Covid jab as immunisation drive widens
Modi takes home-grown vaccine as India widens immunisation drive
Kashmir villagers hopeful but wary over LoC ceasefire