20 Women Add Their Support To Journalist Priya Ramani Accusing MJ Akbar Of Sexual Harassment

| October 17 , 2018 , 09:36 IST

In the aftermath of former editor and Union Minister MJ Akbar filing a defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani for accusing him of sexual harassment, 20 women journalists have come out in support of Ramani, a joint statement from them said on Wednesday.

The 20 women journalists, including 19 from The Asian Age, and 1 from Deccan Chronicle, have urged the court to hear their testimonies against MJ Akbar, claiming that some have suffered sexual harassment from him and others have been a witness to it.

"Ramani is not alone in her fight. We would request the honourable court hearing the defamation case to also consider the testimonies of sexual harassment of some of us at the hands of the petitioner, as also of the other signatories who bore witness to this harassment," the journalists said in the joint statement.

ALSO READ: MJ Akbar Files Criminal Defamation Case Against Journalist Priya Ramani Over #MeToo

"What Akbar has demonstrated through his legal actions is his refusal to introspect, acknowledge or atone for his actions that have caused immense pain and indeed harm to many women over the years," the statement said.

"He himself, in the meanwhile, continues to enjoy enormous power and privilege as minister and Member of Parliament," it continued.

"When Ramani spoke out against him in public, she spoke not only about her personal experience, but also lifted the lid on the culture of 'casual misogyny, entitlement and sexual predation' that Akbar engendered and presided over at The Asian Age," it said.

Former Editor and currently the Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar on Monday filed a criminal defamation case in Delhi's Patiala House Court against journalist Priya Ramani who accused him of sexually harassing her.

ALSO READ: Former Editor And Minister MJ Akbar Accused Of Sexual Harassment By Journalist

The case has been filed against Ramani "seeking her prosecution and conviction, under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, for willfully, deliberately, intentionally and maliciously defaming the Complainant, on wholly and completely false, frivolous, unjustifiable and scandalous grounds."

Ramani on Monday expressed disappointment over Akbar's statement, saying that it paid no heed to the "trauma and fear of the survivors" and that she was ready to fight the allegations of defamation.

"I am ready to fight the allegations of defamation laid against me as truth and the absolute truth is my only defence," she said.