A freelance female sports journalist, who works for various organizations, has accused a reputed senior editor of cricket from Bengaluru of sexually harassing her and other girls via making fake online profiles and other names. The cricket editor has not been named in her accusations.
"Me and a couple of other female sports writers have been the victim of harassment over the last few weeks - from the same person," the journalist wrote in her Facebook post. She further alleged that the accused makes fake accounts of girls "to talk of the most disgusting things ever".
A male journalist, who has worked with the female freelance journalist, claimed that the editor has targeted many girls in the past and explained how he worked. He said, “He begins chatting with these girls by praising their writings. And it's a big deal when such a senior journalist goes out of his way to praise your work. He smooth talks to them about various subjects and then diverts them to a certain 'Mahreen Hasan', who happens to be a fake profile, as we have figured out. Then this 'Mahreen Hasan', who can be anything - from a writer to a physiotherapist - forces girls into sex chats and urges them to send naked photos.”
Another male journalist, on condition of anonymity, said, "He makes them job offers in the high-profile organisation, even if they don't fit the bill. He will invite them for drinks or coffee and persist even if they refuse his offer. After a point, for girls, who are half his age, it becomes difficult to say no to their boss. The funny thing is that he makes these conversations only with young girls who are new in the profession."
Though the girl who wrote about the sexual harassment by this editor has been hailed as a brave soul; several other girls have kept their mouths shut as they understand that talking about that particular person may have adverse effects on their careers, as the sources claim that the editor is one of the biggest names in global sports journalism.
One of those who shared her post said, on condition of anonymity, "It was very brave on her part to have come out since we all have known that he is a sleaze, but we have simply avoided him. She doesn't need to name him because everyone in the cricket journalism fraternity known who he is."
"As per the rumours doing the rounds, he was even sacked from his previous organisation for sexual harassment. It's a shame that none of the senior journalists cared to take a stand against him all these years, and left a young girl to stand up for herself. They are also equally responsible for such a culture to breed in, and allowing him to survive in our system and grow so influential," he added.
(With inputs from latestly.com)