#MeToo claims hit head of India cricket board
NEW DELHI: The chief executive of India’s powerful cricket board has been given a week to explain allegations of sexual harassment against him, as the country’s fledgling #MeToo movement gathers pace. Rahul Johri, CEO of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), was named in an account shared by Indian author Harnidh Kaur on Twitter. The unidentified woman accused Johri of assaulting her at his home, while he was working with a different organization.
“The truth is, it was so sudden and so manipulated that I had no chance at even knowing what the hell this was,” the woman said. The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators, which oversees the BCCI, yesterday asked Johri to explain. Even though the allegations “do not pertain to his employment with BCCI,” the committee said it had given him a week to “submit his explanation.” Johri, CEO of the world’s richest cricket body, has yet not responded to a request for comment.
“There are certain media reports today, including in the social media, pertaining to Rahul Johri,” the committee said in a statement. “These reports disclose allegations of sexual harassment made against Mr Johri, by an unnamed persons through a Twitter handle. The allegations also related to his previous employment with a large media house,” it added.
India’s belated #MeToo movement has made headlines over the last few days with women sharing powerful accounts of alleged harassment by several powerful men including a minister, Bollywood filmmakers, news editors and comedians. On Friday, the production of a Bollywood blockbuster was halted after the film’s lead called for harassment claims against its director and co-star to be “stringently” investigated.
Star Akshay Kumar said he had requested that the making of “Housefull 4” be stopped following allegations against director Sajid Khan and actor Nana Patekar. Several women, mostly journalists, have also accused India’s junior foreign minister M J Akbar of sexual harassment in the last few days. Akbar, who was a top news editor before entering politics, has not yet commented on the allegations or demands for his resignation.
NEW DELHI: Indian journalists hold placards at a protest against sexual harassment in the media industry.