#MeToo: HT's Prashant Jha steps down after sexual misconduct allegations
India's #MeToo movement is gathering momentum. On the back of All India Bakchod founders stepping down due to allegations of sexual harassment, Prashant Jha, the Chief of Bureau and Political Editor of national daily Hindustan Times, has stepped down with immediate effect owing to sexual misconduct allegations against him by a former employee of the publication. Here are the details.
The former employee who levelled charges against Jha took to Twitter to post screenshots of WhatsApp conversations between herself and Jha. She clarified that the inappropriate conversations had taken place in April 2017, when she was no longer a Hindustan Times employee, and thus, she couldn't place a complaint with the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of the company.
According to sources within Hindustan Times, Jha was asked to step down. They added that he would remain under the employment of Hindustan Times as a reporter, but would have to relinquish all managerial responsibilities. He will also be subjected to a full ICC investigation. Meanwhile, the HT bureau has been asked to report to Editor-in-Chief Sukumar for the time being.
The development comes just after AIB announced that co-founders Tanmay Bhat and Gursimran Khamba had been asked to step away and take a leave of absence, respectively. The #MeToo movement is also spreading fast in the Indian media industry, as well as in Bollywood. Allegations have surfaced against big names, including Nana Patekar, Rajat Kapoor, and ToI Resident Editor KR Srinivas, among others.