CMYK MONDAY www.thestatesman.com FIND US ONLINE 15 OCTOBER 2018 Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR Akbar rejects charges of sexual misconduct External affairs MoS threatens legal action, indicates he has no plans to quit STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI,14 OCTOBER inister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar on Sunday rejected as ‘false and fabricated, spiced up by innuendo and malice’ the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by nearly a dozen women journalists, and said he would take appropriate legal action, clearly indicating that he had no intention to resign. Akbar, who returned here this morning from his official tour of Africa amid mounting demand for his resignation in the wake of the ‘Me Too’ movement, issued a long statement in which he wondered why the campaign against him had started a few months before the general election. “Is there an agenda?’’ he asked. Akbar went on to say, “lies do not have legs, but they do contain poison which can be M whipped into a frenzy. This is deeply distressing.’’ He said now that he had returned to India, his lawyers would look into these allegations in order to decide his future course of action. Referring to the charges levelled against him by journalist Priya Ramani, Akbar said she began campaigning against him a year ago with a magazine article. He said she did not, however, name him as she knew it was an incorrect story. Akbar claimed that when Ramani was asked recently why she had not named him, she replied, in a tweet: “Never named him because he didn't ‘do’ anything." He said if he did not do anything, where and what was the story. “This was admitted at the very inception. But a sea of innuendo, speculation and abusive diatribe has been built around something that never happened,” he added. Terming the charges against him as ‘unsubstantiated hearsay’, he said some women jo- Mj-Gen. jailed for life by Army court WEATHER GUWAHATI, 14 OCTOBER Partly cloudy sky. Maximum and minimum temperature will be around 32 and 24 degree Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Trace RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.95% Min. 60% Max: 31.5°C (-1) SUN SETS 17:12 hrs MOON RISES 11.01 hrs Min: 23.0°C (-2) SUN RISES 05:34 hrs MOON SETS 22:08 hrs TEMPERATURE urnalists had on the record confirmed that he did not ‘do’ anything. On journalist Ghazala Wahab’s accusations, he said she had claimed that she had been molested in office 21 years ago, 16 years before he entered public life. ‘’The only office where I worked with her was that of The Asian Age. A part of the editorial team then worked out of a small hall. At the time concerned, I had a very tiny cubicle, patched together by plywood and glass. Others had tables and chairs two feet away. It is utterly bizarre to believe that anything could have happened in that tiny space, and, moreover, that no one else in the vicinity would come to know... These allegations are false, motivated and baseless,’’ he said. He said both Ramani andWahab kept working with him even after these alleged incidents, clearly establishing that they had no apprehension and discomfort. Moon phase: First quarter 16 October A summary general court martial of the Indian Army has convicted seven personnel, including a Major General, in a 24-year-old fake encounter case, sentencing them to life in prison. Sources in an Army unit based in Dibrugarh confirmed this on Sunday and said that MajGen. A K Lal, Colonel Thomas Mathew, Col. R S Sibiren, Captain Dilip Singh, Capt. Jagdeo Singh, Naik Albindar Singh and Naik Shivendar Singh have been awarded life imprisonment for their involvement in a fake encounter case in Assam's Tinsukia district dating back to 1994. Nine youths had allegedly been picked up by the Army from different areas of Tinsukia district on 18 February 1994 on suspicion that they were involved in the killing of a tea garden executive. The soldiers allegedly killed five of the youths in a fake encounter, branding them as ULFA militants a few days later, while releasing the other four. The court martial process began on 16 July this year and concluded on 27 July. The quantum of punishment was pronounced IANS on Saturday. CMYK
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