AL­LE­GA­TIONS AGAINST AK­BAR NEED TO BE VER­I­FIED: SHAH

The Free Press Journal - - NATION - AGEN­CIES /

Bharatiya Janata Party Pres­i­dent Amit Shah has said that he was not in a po­si­tion to com­ment on M.J. Ak­bar, who is fac­ing mul­ti­ple al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct, as the claims against the Union Min­is­ter needed to be "looked into".

"It's dif­fi­cult to com­ment on some­thing that comes on a web­site. One can put any­thing on a web­site. So, this needs to be checked. If that is true or false, whether such an in­ci­dent hap­pened or not," Shah said in an in­ter­view to ETV on late Fri­day.

"It will have to be seen if it is the same per­son who is lev­el­ling al­le­ga­tions or some­one else has put it up (on so­cial me­dia). All th­ese things will have to be seen. And once we do it, we will cer­tainly think over it (the ac­tion against Ak­bar)," he added.

More than half a dozen women jour­nal­ists have ac­cused Ak­bar of sex­ual ha­rass­ment and in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour at var­i­ous stages of his jour­nal­is­tic ca­reer, dur­ing which he launched and edited sev­eral news­pa­pers.

Mean­while, the BJP is likely to take a clear stand on the al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual ha­rass­ment against him once he ex­plains his po­si­tion upon his sched­uled re­turn to In­dia on Sun­day.

Ak­bar, who has been on an of­fi­cial trip abroad, has so far not re­sponded to the charges.

While the BJP has main­tained a stud­ied si­lence on the mat­ter so far, party sources have said the charges against him are se­ri­ous, and his con­tin­u­ance as a min­is­ter is no longer guar­an­teed. A fi­nal call will be taken by Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi, they said.

There is also a view within the party that there is no le­gal case against him, and al­le­ga­tions per­tain to a time long be­fore he be­came a min­ster.

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