New Delhi: Journalist-turned-politician MJ Akbar, who on Wednesday had recorded his statement in Delhi court in the defamation suit against journalist Priya Ramani, has now been accused of rape by a journalist. The journalist accused the former minister of raping her in 1994 while she was working at The Asian Age. Also Read - Harvey Weinstein Found Guilty of First Degree Criminal Sex Act-Third Degree Rape by New York Jury
Prior to the incident, said the journalist in an article for The Washington Post, Akbar had attempted to kiss her and on another occasion scratched her face when she fought him off. She said that at that point in time, Akbar would abuse her sexually, verbally as well as emotionally. Also Read - ‘Communal Unity, Harmony Bedrock of India's Strength,’ Pranab Mukherjee Says at Book Launch
In her earlier note, she had spoken of the time when she was taken advantage of and how Akbar physically overpowered her. The incident took place while she was on an assignment in Jaipur. She narrated her ordeal by saying, “In his hotel room, even though I fought him, he was physically more powerful. He ripped off my clothes and raped me.” She said that “instead of reporting him to the police” she was filled with shame. “I didn’t tell anyone about this then. Would anyone have believed me? I blamed myself. Why did I go to the hotel room?” Also Read - Mahatma Gandhi Wanted to Live in Pakistan After Independence, Claims MJ Akbar’s New Book
The journalist went on to add that from that day on, Akbar coerced her and continued abusing her sexually, verbally and emotionally. She recalled the fear she was subjected to by the former politician and how he would burst into fits of rage if he saw her talking to male colleagues who were of her age. “It was frightening,” she added.
Akbar’s lawyer Sandeep Kapur has denied the allegations saying “these (incidents and allegations) are false and expressly denied.” The denial has been added as an editor’s note in The Washington Post column.
In his statement, Akbar stated that Priya Ramani’s defamatory articles on him were intended to malign his reputation. It must be noted that after Ramani, at least 15 other women had levelled similar allegations against him.