Prashant Jha stepped down as the Chief of Bureau and Political Editor of national daily Hindustan Times with immediate effect following allegations of sexual misconduct by a former employee of the organisation. The bureau has been asked to report to Editor-in-Chief Sukumar. Prashant will stay on as a reporter, but will have no managerial responsibilities. Sources said that he will be subjected to a full ICC investigation.
Sources in the newspaper said that he was asked to step down. Prashant is the author of ‘How The BJP Wins’ and ‘Battles of The New Republic: A Contemporary History of Nepal’.
On Twitter, the former employee of Hindustan Times said that they had met at the newspaper’s office and posted screenshots of WhatsApp conversations between them. She later clarified that these conversations took place in April 2017, when she was no longer an employee with the national daily, and therefore could not file a complaint with the Internal Complaints Committee.
This comes right after comedy collective All India Bakchod released a statement stating that co-founder Tanmay Bhat will step away with immediate effect, and Gursimran Khamba will take a temporary leave of absence.
There have been many accounts of sexual harassment, abuse and misconduct against male persons in newsrooms across the country.
Among them was Times of India Resident Editor KR Sreenivas, who was accused of sexual harassment by seven women. He has been accused of sending lewd messages, making sexually laden gestures, mentally torturing them and touching them inappropriately. On Monday, in a petition to Times of India, they have asked for his employment to be terminated.