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  India   All India  02 Nov 2018  Twitteratti slams Akbar, his wife for ‘consensual’ comment on rape charge

Twitteratti slams Akbar, his wife for ‘consensual’ comment on rape charge

Published : Nov 2, 2018, 6:05 pm IST
Updated : Nov 2, 2018, 7:13 pm IST

US-based journalist Pallavi Gogoi, in an article, accused MJ Akbar of rape when she worked with The Asian Age 23 years ago.

Over a dozen women in the last few weeks have spoken about their harassment in the hands of MJ Akbar. (Photo: File | PTI)
 Over a dozen women in the last few weeks have spoken about their harassment in the hands of MJ Akbar. (Photo: File | PTI)

Mumbai: Several prominent people took to Twitter to criticise the statements of MJ Akbar and his wife Mallika on the rape charges brought against the former junior minister by US-based journalist Pallavi Gogoi.

US-based journalist Pallavi Gogoi, a leader in the National Public Radio, in an article in The Washington Post on Friday accused Akbar of rape when she worked in his paper The Asian Age 23 years ago. She was in her early 20s. Gogoi recalls: “I was in shreds – emotionally, physically, mentally.”

 Reacting to that, both Akbar and his wife Mallika released statements today, with Akbar saying the two were in a consensual relationship which “perhaps didn’t end on a best note”.

This relationship gave rise to talk and would later cause strife in my home life as well. This consensual relationship ended, perhaps not on best note," the journalist-turned-politician told news agency ANI.

Mallika Akbar, who has been silent so far as the #MeToo storm engulfed the former editor and took his minister’s berth, said Pallavi had caused “unhappiness and discord in our home”.

“I learnt about their involvement through her late-night phone calls and her public display of affection in my presence. I had confronted my husband at the time and he decided to prioritise his family,” Mallika Akbar said in her statement.

She further claimed that another woman journalist who accused Akbar, Tushita Patel, and Pallavi Gogoi were often at her home but none of the two carried “the haunted look of victims of sexual assault”.

Reacting to this, Karuna Nundy, an advocate with the Supreme Court, said most sexual assault survivors don't 'carry the haunted look of victims'.



Researcher and teacher Maya Mirchandani said that MJ Akbar has clearly woken up to the fact that he can’t scare off the women accusing him with a defamation case.



A former employee of The Asian Age, Krishnadev Calamur, said that Gogoi's rape account is "consistent with newsroom conversations" in the late 1990s.



Slamming MJ Akbar, journalist Barkha Dutt said that at least 20 more women have come out with "similar stories" against the former editor.



Suhasini Haider, the diplomatic editor with The Hindu, slammed Mallika Arjun for coming to her husband's defence and blaming Gogoi.



Journalist Swati Chaturvedi also came down heavily on MJ Akbar over the latest allegations of rape.



Former journalist and columnist Ashutosh called MJ Akbar "devil" and wondered when the BJP will throw him out of the party.



Tags: mj akbar, pallavi gogoi, mallika akbar, #metoo, sexual harassment
Location: India, Maharashtra, Mumbai (Bombay)