#MeToo: Athawale bats for probe into sexual harassment allegations

Pune (Maharashtra): Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Ramdas Athawale on Sunday stated that allegations of sexual harassment should be thoroughly probed, as he thinks there are cases where women try to defame men.

The Republican Party of India (RPI) leader’s remarks come in the wake of the storming #MeToo movement in India, which has seen allegations of harassment being levelled against high-profile politicians, actors, journalist, etc.

Addressing a presser here, Athawale said, “If a person is accused of something it must be investigated. Many people have been found guilty in the #MeToo movement, but I think a proper enquiry should be conducted. There can also be an attempt to defame politicians as well as actors.”

Earlier today, Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs, M. J. Akbar refused to comment on the sexual misconduct allegations against him, adding that he will respond through a statement soon.

Akbar has been accused of sexual misconduct by several of his former colleagues while he held senior editorial positions in a number of media organisations. Soon after these allegations, many in the opposition demanded the minister’s resignation.

The ‘Me Too’ movement gained momentum in India after Bollywood actor Tanushree Dutta accused Nata Patekar of allegedly misbehaving with her during a film shoot in 2008.
Since then, scores of women have come out to speak about their ordeals on social media, including actors, musicians, journalists, and politicos.