Times of India’s Hyderabad Editor, KR Sreenivas, who was facing allegations of sexual misconduct, has resigned. This is perhaps the first time that a senior journalist and a top editor has resigned due to MeToo.
Multiple women had accused KR Sreenivas of sending lewd messages, making sexually laden gestures, mentally torturing them and touching them inappropriately.
Speaking to TNM, official sources in ToI confirmed that Sreenvas has resigned. There is no clarity yet whether he was asked to tender in his resignation or he stepped down voluntarily. He has reportedly stated in his resignation letter that he is quitting because he is being 'targetted.'
On October 9, hours after seven women petitioned the Times of India to take action against KR Sreenivas, he was sent on administrative leave till an inquiry was conducted and completed against him, as per a statement from TOI.
“TOI is committed to providing all colleagues with a safe and conducive work environment, free of sexual harassment. In keeping with this commitment, the internal complaints committee of BCCL is looking into concerns that have been brought to our notice about KR Sreenivas. To ensure a fair and impartial inquiry, he has been asked to proceed on administrative leave pending closure of the inquiry. Please be assured that the committee is completely independent in its functioning,” an email sent out to TOI employees had stated.
In their petition to ToI demanding that KR Sreenivas be sacked, the seven women had detailed their accounts, which ranged from innuendo-laced messages to isolating them when they complained about Sreenivas' behaviour, ensuring their careers took a hit. The petition attached screenshots and annexures, where each survivor described the trauma inflicted on them, and in almost all cases, there was a clear power dynamic at play - Sreenivas was in a position of power and could easily put an end to their careers.
Sreenivas’ resignation is the second prominent resignation after Hindustan Times’ Prashant Jha stepped down from his post as the Chief of Bureau after he was accused of sexual misconduct by a former employee of the organisation.