Editors Guild of India on Saturday released an updated list of its members which included the names of journalists MJ Akbar and Tarun Tejpal, both of whom have been alleged of sexual harassment. The list also included the name of senior journalist Gautam Adhikari, also accused of sexual harassment.
The inclusion came despite many demands for removal of all rape-accused journalists for significant posts. Interestingly, in October, the Editors Guild had released a statement condemning all “predatory conduct by such men”. The journalists body had assured solidarity with women journalists who have brought the critical issues in public debate.
Akbar, who had been a veteran journalist and cabinet minister, was accused of sexual harassment by at least 20 women. Akbar, 67, had to resign as a minister from the Narendra Modi cabinet on October 17 due to the charges made against him.
The guild had earlier directed MJ Akbar to withdraw the defamation case he had filed against journalist Priya Ramani, who was one of the women speaking against the minister.
Former Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal, who is also named in the list, was accused of rape by one of his colleagues in 2013. Tejpal was later charged by a Goa trial court with rape, sexual harassment and wrongful restraint to which he had pleaded not guilty.
Adhikari had served as the editor-in-chief of DNA Mumbai, which he co-founded in 2005, and executive editor of the Times of India. He was accused of sexual misconduct by atleast three women journalists.