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‘He would always greet me with a kiss when I went to meet him,’ journalist accuses former UPA minister of sexual misconduct

In a shocking account of yet another #MeToo revelation, journalist Sonal Kellogg has come up with her story about how she was abused by a minister in the UPA 1 government. Narrating her story in DailyO, she says that when she was working for The Asian Age in Delhi, one cabinet minister in the UPA government always used to greet her with a kiss. He was the minister of the ministry the journalist was covering at that time.

She says that the minister was a media favourite, and many senior women journalists were close to him. She also saw him greeting women with a hug, so she thought hugs and kisses were the norms in Delhi, as she came from a smaller town. Sonal says that the minister studied at St Stephen’s College and did his masters from a top university in England, and he was a big advocate of women’s rights and empowerment. She met him frequently for work, and every time he would greet her a kiss. He would hold her face and try to kiss her on the mouth, she says.

Sonal says she managed to turn her face slightly, but didn’t do anything about or nor did she report about the same to anyone. She also has been the victim of long-term child sexual abuse, and she is not able to speak up against authority, Sonal says.

Perhaps bolstered by the fact that the journalist did not seem to protest about his behaviour, the minister stepped up his act one day. In early 2014, when Sonal was sitting in the bungalow of the minister, the minister suddenly stretched his hand and pressed one of her breasts. This time she gathered her courage and asked him to not touch her. When asked why she told him that she does not like to be touched.

After the incident, Sonal never met the person, and she also moved to Ahmedabad from Delhi. The journalist has not named the minister who molested her, so it is now a matter of speculation.

Sonal Kellogg runs the website Sabfree (Speak up and Be Free), which supports child victims sexual abuse.

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