The #MeToo movement which began with Utsav Chakraborty from All India Bakchod being exposed as a pervert has already claimed the careers of multiple alleged sexual predators in journalism and the stand-up comedy scene. Allegations have also surfaced against BJP MP M.J. Akbar who is accused to have used his position to exploit women during his years as the editor of a newspaper.
The Congress party was quick to latch on the allegations against Akbar and grasped the opportunity to take a dig at External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for refusing to answer questions posed by some journalists regarding the same. Through its official Twitter handle, the Congress asserted that shielding sexual predators is in BJP’s DNA.
Union Minister @sushmaswaraj‘s reaction is not a surprise. Shielding sexual predators is in BJP’s DNA. pic.twitter.com/S2IfaOCqIO
— Congress (@INCIndia) October 9, 2018
But now, people are questioning the Congress party’s own conduct in matters of safety for women in the workplace. A letter has been addressed to party president Rahul Gandhi demanding that he take urgent action against NSUI President Fairoz Khan and explain the sham investigation regarding allegations against Chirag Patnaik who was involved with the party’s IT cell.
My letter to @RahulGandhi urging him to take action on NSUI Prez Fairoz Khan and explain the sloppy handling of complain against Chirag Patnaik. @INCIndia your #MeToo pic.twitter.com/xHVFg0qNix
— Gunja Kapoor (@gunjakapoor) October 10, 2018
In her letter to Rahul Gandhi, Gunja Kapoor states, “While certain organizations have already dealt with those outed, we are yet to see your party take any action on two people who have been recently accused of sexual harassment in the recent past.” She then proceeds to ask why were the accused not forced to step down from their position or sent on a leave of absence to felicitate a free and fair inquiry.
One of the accused mentioned in Kapoor’s letter, Chirag Patnaik, has been arrested by the Delhi Police on the charges of sexual harassment levelled against him by a former colleague. The victim had claimed that she had reported the matter to Rahul Gandhi and IT cell head Divya Spandana and yet no action was taken against the accused. Furthermore, she claims it led to even more harassment. She had further asserted that she knew the committee formed to investigate the matter would be biased. It is pertinent to mention that Divya had come in defence of the now arrested Patnaik and blamed the victim instead.
The other person mentioned in Kapoor’s letter, Fairoz Khan, was accused by a woman member of NSUI that he was using abetting women of the organization to have sexual relationships with him in lieu of political posts. The Congress had then said that the party was taking suo moto cognizance of the charges. However, merely weeks later, Khan was seen on the posters of a ‘Girls’ Convention’ held in Indore.