Journalist Mayank Jain resigned as principal correspondent from Business Standard on Tuesday following allegations of sexual harassment, Firstpost reported. Jain formerly worked at Scroll.in and BloombergQuint.
Shyamal Majumdar, the newspaper’s editor, told Firstpost: “Mayank Jain resigned and it has been accepted with immediate effect.” On the status of the inquiry against Jain, he said the “inquiry will take its natural course”. Majumdar also reportedly sent a letter to employees.
Last week, a journalist posted that she had been at the “receiving end of this man’s unwelcome sexual predations”, while others posted screenshots of instances in which Jain had allegedly made unwanted advances, including sexually explicit comments, at a number of women. Jain has yet to respond to queries regarding these allegations.
After the allegations surfaced on social media, Majumdar had said “due process is on”.
BloombergQuint, a former employer of Jain’s, had released a statement, saying the “misbehaviour and harassment may have occurred at a work-related event in December 2016”. “Unfortunately, as no complaint was made, we had no way of taking any action against the person involved,” the statement said.
Since October 6, several women have made allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct against various journalists, media professionals and writers on social media. On Monday, journalist Prashant Jha stepped down as the chief of bureau and political editor of the Hindustan Times following an allegation of sexual misconduct against him.
The Times of India has sent its Hyderabad Resident Editor KR Sreenivas, who was also accused by a woman journalist of sexual harassment, on “administrative leave” on Monday. Gautam Adhikari, former executive editor at Times of India and former editor-in-chief of DNA in Mumbai, has quit his post as senior fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington DC, The Wire reported.
In view of the statements of women who have made public their experiences of Mayank Jain’s misconduct, we at Scroll in the spirit of fair disclosure would like to state that Mayank Jain worked for Scroll from October 15, 2014 to October 30, 2016, and then from June 12, 2017 to December 31, 2017.
A woman employee informally and verbally brought to the attention of a member of the internal complaints committee (ICC) at Scroll an instance of sexually inappropriate online behaviour by Mayank Jain in 2017. The employee, however, did not want to pursue the matter through a formal written complaint, without which no formal inquiry can be initiated. Despite this, the ICC took serious note of the matter and served a written warning to Mayank Jain, reminding him of Scroll’s strict policies prohibiting sexual harassment.
We, at Scroll, commit to continuing to better understand women’s experiences at the workplace and evolve further processes that may be required to prevent, acknowledge and respond to work cultures that are not enabling for women.