#MeToo campaign: Irani refuses to comment on allegations against Akbar

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MUMBAI: Union Minister Smriti Irani on Thursday refused to comment on the accusations of sexual harassment against Minister M J Akbar but reiterated that “ladies who are speaking out” must be given justice.

As the #MeToo campaign gathers clamour, some of the women scribe have come out in public and have accused Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs, of sexually harassing them during his period as an editor in two newspapers.

Addressing the media, Irani said, “The gentleman concerned would be better positioned to speak on this issue,” and that she would not comment on the issue as she was not personally present there, she added.

Irani insisted people not to make a mockery of the women who are speaking out against the harassment meted out to them.

“I have said again and again on this particular issue, especially about women speaking out that anybody speaking out that in way be shamed, victimized or mocked. That is my only appeal to everybody who is witnessing this surge of an outpouring of emotion, of anger on the internet and offline also, she said.

She stressed on the point that women don’t go to work to be harassed but to work so that they could live their dreams and earn a respectable living.

“So I will say here today it must be very difficult for women to come out and talk about what happened in their professional lives. It is extremely an important part in a time of our society where more and more women are getting the support, so they can speak out,” Irani said.

Feeling confident with the judicial system, Irani said that according to her she feels that there are enough instruments in our judicial and police systems to deliver justice and that she is hopeful that all the ladies would get the justice that they deserve.

With inputs from PTI

Photo: ANI

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