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Women scribe groups seek Akbar's dismissal; court to hear defamation case on Thursday (Roundup)

IANS  |  New Delhi 

As the court listed the criminal case filed by against a woman for Thursday, two women bodies sought Akbars removal from the government for the sake of fair and impartial probe.

The Network of Women in in (NWMI) wrote to and demanding dismissal of Akbar, the of State for External Affairs who has been accused by several women journalists of sexual harassment.

"We are extremely concerned that he continues to be a Minister even as he pursues whatever legal action he plans. You will agree that this is highly unethical and improper and will cast a cloud over any investigation," NWMI said in its letters to the and the

It said that all support should be extended by the government to women in their struggle for justice, and that should "take workplace harassment seriously and not encourage intimidatory tactics against women who have complained".

The (IWPC) on Tuesday wrote to Rajnath Singh, Women and and Chairperson (NCW) Rekha Sharma, seeking fair inquiry and dismissal of the Minister.

"We hope that your government will rise to the occasion and institute an impartial and fair inquiry in the interests of gender justice...The continuation of the Minister in his position only sends out the wrong message that the government is apathetic to the serious concerns and the need for a fair and impartial inquiry."

In the letter to Maneka Gandhi, the IWPC said that it was "dismayed" that despite a "long list of complaints", no formal inquiry has been instituted into the complaints comprising serious charges of sexual harassment.

"We would like your ministry to take suo motu cognizance of these complaints and come out with recommendations within a time-frame," it said.

Meanwhile, another woman journalist, came out with her account of how Akbar allegedly molested her at the workplace in 1993.

"Stop lying about your plywood and glass cabin in is not the only woman to have been molested in that cabin. There are other victims who you almost broke and destroyed with your lust and power trip," Patel wrote in a piece on the

"And enough with the legal intimidation - we can see you in court too," she added.

Meanwhile, Akbar's said on Tuesday that the case (against Priya Ramani) will be heard by a magisterial court in the complex on October 18.

Akbar, in his complaint, said that it was apparent that the false narrative against him was being circulated in a motivated manner and for the fulfilment of an agenda.

Ramani's husband and Halarnkar in a piece written for said he and his wife had only the "truth" as a weapon against the "vast resources" a Minister can muster.

"This is not vs Priya Ramani, this is the vs He has access to a battery of powerful lawyers: There are 97 listed in the legal notice. She has, thus far, one," Halarnkar said.

Ruing the lack of any "expressions of support" from opposition parties, he wrote: "(It is) because they are all complicit in maintaining the status quo. India's patriarchy understands what is at stake and will not give in without a bitter fight. If an Akbar is conceded, there are countless others whose careers will be in jeopardy."



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, October 16 2018. 20:14 IST