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Union Minister MJ Akbar resigns over #Metoo allegations

Union Minister MJ Akbar, accused by multiple women of sexual harassment in a tidal wave of #MeToo stories shared on social media, has resigned on Wednesday. Akbar has filed a defamation suit against one of the women who have accused him of a range of inappropriate behaviour during his career as a journalist before entering politics.

“Since I have decided to seek justice in a court of law in my personal capacity, I deem it appropriate to step down from office and challenge false accusations levied against me in a personal capacity,” Akbar said in a statement.

The #MeToo movement, which began in the United States more than a year ago in response to accusations of sexual harassment and abuse by powerful men in the entertainment industry, gained traction in India in late September after the actress Tanushree Dutta said prominent actor Nana Patekar behaved inappropriately on the sets of a film they were shooting in 2008.

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