In a Washington Post article, a journalist wrote her story about How MJ Akbar raped her while he was his senior in 1994 in The Asian Age
Akbar’s lawyer, Sandeep Kapur, told The Washington Post that Akbar denied the allegations. “My client states that these [incidents and allegations] are false and expressly denied,” he told the paper.
The editor-turned-politician has been called out by multiple women over the past few days. Resigning as Minister of State for External Affairs on Wednesday evening, he said: "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, also in a personal capacity."
Mr Akbar's name first surfaced on October 8.
In her article, Pallavi Gogoi, who is the chief business editor of NPR, wrote that she was 22 when she joined the Asian Age, of which Akbar was the editor-in-chief. “Working in New Delhi under Akbar, we were star-struck,” Gogoi wrote. She said Akbar often shouted at his employees, but she accepted the verbal abuse thinking she was “learning from the best”.
In 1994, Gogoi was made editor of the op-ed page, “a big responsibility at a young age” of 23. Gogoi said she had gone into Akbar’s office to show him a page when he suddenly lunged to kiss her. “I reeled,” Gogoi wrote, adding that she walked out of his office and confided in a friend about the incident.
Gogoi detailed the second incident of sexual assault when she was in Mumbai to help launch a magazine. She Akbar called her to his hotel room to “see layouts”. “When he again came close to me to kiss me, I fought him and pushed him away,” she said. “He scratched my face as I ran away, tears streaming down.”
Gogoi claimed that when she returned to Delhi, Akbar threatened to sack her from the job if she resisted him again.
The journalist alleged that Akbar later invited her to his hotel room in Jaipur to discuss a story she was working on. When Gogoi went to his hotel room, Gogoi alleged that Akbar ripped off her clothes and raped her. Gogoi said she tried fighting Akbar, but he was physically more powerful. “Instead of reporting him to the police, I was filled with shame,” she wrote. “I didn’t tell anyone about this then...I blamed myself.”
Gogoi said Akbar continued his advances. “He continued to coerce me. For a few months, he continued to defile me sexually, verbally, emotionally,” she alleged.