A US-based journalist has now come forward to accuse Minister of State External Affairs MJ Akbar of sexual harassment.
CNN scribe Majlie de Puy Kamp has revealed that she was sexually harassed by Akbar in 2007 when she was an 18-year-old intern.
As per a report by Huffington Post, Kamp was interning at the Asian Age newspaper under Akbar. The incident happened on the last day of her internship when she went to Akbar to thank him for the opportunity.
She said that as she extended her hand for gratitude Akbar “grabbed her right under [her] shoulders, on [her] arms. [He] pulled me in and kissed me on my mouth and forced his tongue into my mouth, and I just stood there, she said.
Sharing the incident on Twitter as well, Kamp wrote: “I extended my hand to him in gratitude, he shoved his 55-year-old tongue down my 18-year-old throat.”
Akbar, a former journalist, is facing allegations of sexual harassment by several women journalists who have come forward as part of the #MeToo campaign that names and shames people who abused their positions to sexually harass others.
The accounts are from a time when Akbar held senior editorial positions in media organisations. Several other women have also described how Akbar used to conduct meetings and interviews in hotel rooms and exhibited “predatory” behaviour.
Akbar, who is in Africa on an official tour, has not commented on the allegations against him despite multiple media inquiries. His immediate boss, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj too has been silent on the issue and recently sidestepped pointed questions by journalists in New Delhi.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah has said that the party will have to verify the authenticity of the allegations against Akbar.
“Dekhna padega ki yeh sach hai ya galat (We will have to see if the allegations are true or false),” Shah said.
The #MeToo campaign first began as a hashtag on Twitter in 2017, when Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment by over 70 women.
India joined the movement only after actor Tanushree Dutta accused veteran Nana Patekar of sexual harassment in September this year. Following Dutta, many women have recounted their horrific experiences.
Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Friday announced that the government will be setting up a four-member committee to examine all #MeToo cases.
ALSO READ | MeToo: Chorus for MJ Akbar’s resignation grows