The #MeToo movement, which has already created a storm among actors, politicians, journalist among others hit Indian cricket on Saturday as BCCI CEO Rahul Johri was accused of alleged sexual harassment from an anonymous account. Now, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have sought an explanation from Rahul Johri.
The allegations which surfaced on social media from an unnamed person, who claimed to be an ex-colleague of Johri at the Discovery Channel. The allegations were posted on Twitter by an author, who does not wants her name to published.
Johri, who is yet to react to the allegations, worked in various positions for the Discovery Channel from 2001 to 2016 before taking over as the BCCI CEO.
“...had emails sent about a BUNCH of head honchos in media. survivor has asked to not put out all the names. Rahul Johari, your #timesup #metoo,” read the tweet which was accompanied by screenshots, detailing the alleged incident.
Reacting to the allegations, the Supreme Court appointed COA asked from an explanation from Johri for the action.
“The reports disclose allegations of sexual harassment made against Mr. Johri, by an unnamed person through a twitter handle. The allegations also relate to his previous employment with a large media house,” said the COA statement
“Though, the said allegations do not pertain to his employment with the BCCI, the Committee of Administrators of the BCCI has deemed it appropriate to seek an explanation from Mr Johri in relation to the allegations.
“He has been asked to submit his explanation within a week. The future course of action will be considered on receipt of his explanation,” it added.
The person later tweeted that she did not want any of the incidents that she detailed on her Twitter timeline to be published.
“ALL press. Do NOT quote/mention/link my tweets, name me, or take screenshots for publication. The survivor wants her privacy respected. So do I. If you mention us now it will be in violation of this very specific request?” she tweeted.
Johri is scheduled to be the BCCI’s representative at the ICC’s Chief Executive Committee meeting between October 17 and 18 in Singapore and the COA said it won’t stop him from attending.
“We have not taken away functional powers till he submits his explanation and the legal team analyses it,” COA chief Vinod Rai told PTI.
ESPNCricinfo reported that allegations of sexual misconduct against Johri were brought to the BCCI’s notice in 2017 as well. But Johri denied the charge at the time, calling it a lie, an assertion that the Board accepted, according to the website.
Johri, believed to be in his late 40s, became the first CEO of the cricket body after its administrative structure underwent a revamp owing to the Lodha Committee recommendations. A media veteran before joining the BCCI, Johri was associated with the Discovery channel’s South Asia operations for 15 years.
He has also been a member of various committees in business organisations such as the FICCI and ASSOCHAM.
The #metoo movement in India began with Bollywood actor Tanushree Dutta accusing veteran actor Nana Patekar of sexual harassment.
Till now, many public personalities have been accused of sexual harassments and misconducts and the list includes journalist-turned politician MJ Akbar and filmmaker Sajid Khan among others.