In an article published by The Caravan, Vidya had detailed the sexual harassment she faced by India Today anchor Gaurav Sawant.

Not intimidated Vidya Krishnan responds to Gaurav Sawants defamation notice
news Sexual Harassment Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 14:59

A day after India Today anchor Gaurav Sawant, accused of sexual harassment by journalist Vidya Krishnan, sent her a defamation notice, Vidya took to Twitter to state that she stands by her story and is “not the least intimidated by the threat of defamation.”

“The account published in the Caravan is an accurate representation of what happened. It was independently verified by a reporter, after talking to those who corroborated the story I had shared. It is the reality and I stand by every word of it,” Vidya says in her statement.  

“I am not the least intimidated by the threat of defamation - which appears to be the only remedy that powerful men, accused of inappropriate behaviour, take recourse to. I will fight defamation and I will make sure my truth is heard by all,” she adds.

In an article published by The Caravan, Vidya had detailed the sexual harassment she faced by Gaurav Sawant while they were on a reporting trip to Beas, a town in Punjab. Vidya had detailed how he touched her inappropriately while seated in an official vehicle.

When the group returned to their hotel rooms in the evening, Vidya says she received a message from Gaurav that he wanted her to come to his room. When Vidya tried to brush him off politely, Gaurav reportedly said that what he had in mind was “nothing naughty” and he “just wanted to get into a bathtub with her.” Gaurav then came to her room unexpectedly, she says, and dropped his pants and tried to sexually assault her. She tried to push him away, but could not, Vidya says.

“I shared my story to shine a light on the inequities faced by young female journalists in Indian newsrooms, at the hands of their powerful colleagues. My hope in providing this account is that another generation of talented female reporters should not have to dramatically alter their careers due to everyday sexism, sexual harassment and outright sexual violence faced in the newsroom. Since last week, while I relive this trauma in front of the entire world, I have been accused of acting out of malice. Nothing can be farther from the truth,” she further states in her statement.

“It is my hope that women who enjoy the same rights as men as guaranteed by our Constitution, are treated equally and fairly, so we can go on reach our full potential without having to negotiate sexual violence and abuse at every turn,” Vidya adds.

Taking to Twitter, Gaurav Sawant called the Caravan article "irresponsible, baseless, and completely false." He added that he will be taking legal action. On Wednesday, Sawant tweeted that he has sent a defamation notice to Vidya Krishnan as well as Nikita Saxena, the author of the Caravan article.

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