10/10/2018 11:04 AM IST | Updated 10/10/2018 11:22 AM IST

#MeToo: Maneka Gandhi Says There Should Be A Probe On MJ Akbar Even As His Boss Sushma Swaraj Stays Silent

Swaraj and the Modi government have kept mum even as several women named Akbar as their assaulter.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar in a file photo.

Maneka Gandhi, Minister For Women And Child Development, said on Tuesday that a probe should be ordered into the sexual harassment and assault allegations against Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar.

Even as multiple women have accused Akbar of predatory behaviour, the Narendra Modi government has been mum over the incident.

"There should be an investigation. Men in position of power often do this. This applies to media, politics and seniors working in companies. Now that women have started speaking out, we should take it seriously," Maneka Gandhi reportedly told India Todaywhen a reported asked about the allegations against a "big politician".

Gandhi said that action should be taken against each and every allegation made by women, since women are scared of even speaking out, fearing a backlash.

Gandhi's remarks come even as Sushma Swaraj, Akbar's senior in the ministry, chose to remain silent on the issue despite being repeatedly asked for her comments.

NDTV quoted Tribune reporter Smita Sharma asking Swaraj on Tuesday, "There are serious allegations...these are sexual harassment allegations. You are a woman minister in charge. Will there be a probe on the allegations."

Several women have accused Akbar of sexual harassment during his time in journalism. Journalist Priya Ramani became the first to name him on Twitter. She had written about him in an article in Vogue in 2017, but hadn't identified him then.

Akbar, now a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha, was the founding editor of The Telegraph, launched The Asian Age and has worked in several other media organisations. Reports say he is currently in Nigeria.