Hindustan Times Journalist Steps Down After #MeToo Accusations

Prashant Jha's name surfaced in an account posted as part of a Twitter thread that started last week and encouraged many women to name and shame people who had allegedly sexually harassed them

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Prashant Jha quit as Hindustan Times' Political Editor and bureau chief

New Delhi: 

Called out in the mushrooming #MeToo movement in India, Prashant Jha of the Hindustan Times stepped down today as Political Editor and bureau chief after a former colleague accused him of harassing her.

In his letter to his editor, Mr Jha said: "There have been specific allegations against me - and my personal conduct - recently, which have raised moral questions about my conduct. In this backdrop, I believe it would be best for me to step down..."

Mr Jha's name surfaced in an account posted as part of a Twitter thread that started last week and encouraged many women to name and shame people who had allegedly sexually harassed them, either recently or years ago.

The campaign began days after former actor Tanushree Dutta accused thespian Nana Patekar of harassing her on the sets of a film 10 years ago. Two more film personalities, including filmmaker Vikas Bahl, have been named since.

Comic Utsav Chakraborty, author Chetan Bhagat and actor Rajat Kapoor have also been called out; all three have apologized. Comedy group AIB's two founder members have stepped down.

Many journalists have been listed in the hall of shame since Friday.

Sandhya Menon alleged harassment in 2005 and 2008 by an editor of the Times of India; the newspaper said the charge would be investigated by its committee against sexual harassment. "A highly empowered and accessible committee under this policy and under the law is in place to investigate and address all allegations of sexual harassment," said the media house in a statement, adding that the group was headed by a senior woman executive.

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