#MeToo: Two interns accuse Kashmir editor of sexual molestation

The duo also accused two other journalists of forcing them to sleep with them

Two students from  Xavier’s collage from Mumbi, who had interned in kashmirwalla April this year, emailed their testimonies to Kashmir press on Monday. Here we reproduce them with their names.

Dyuti Khulbe

 I too have been placed in an uncomfortable situation by Fahad. He wanted to know about my past sexual encounters, and when I stated that it’s too personal and I am not comfortable, he blatantly asked me to “sleep together” pointing at an empty room while we were in Pahalgam for office picnic. Even after saying NO to him, he was constantly trying to add vulgar and inappropriate connotations to the ending conversation.

After this incident, he has always been more interested in having informal relations over the formal one. He fucked up the Professional environment of the office by acting too friendly (in a weird way) with my other friend in whom he took interest. Not only this, he tried to create tensions between me and my friend by constantly telling her that he didn’t trust me and that’s why she should also stay away from me as I have a bad influence on her. Even though his attempt to keep us apart failed but it did take a mental toll on me and my friend.

And I would also like to come forward about this other journalist, Suhail Khan from GNS and Kashmir Despatch, who literally jumped on our bed and insisted that we sleep together on the same bed while we were in Uri. Now, before people start questioning what he was doing in our room at night, he simply forced himself to our room before jumping on our bed.

I have been in Kashmir since April. I have come from Mumbai after completing my Post Graduation from Xavier’s and wanted to learn and gain experience in Kashmir as it is the most dynamic land. I was working with the Rising Kashmir as trainee reporter before joining the Kashmir Walla as feature writer.

I would also like to inform that I and my friend haven’t been paid salaries by Fahad Shah since we came out against the harassment we faced.

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Prashasti Awasthi:

After coming forward about the harassment we faced in past few months, the accused men obviously became defensive. Suhail Khan has threatened to file defamation case against us. I think he should definitely file a defamation case, but not against us as we did not defame him, he should go on filing a case against himself as it is because of his own actions that he is being defamed.

Kaiser Andrabi, an employee of Fahad, has taken to Twitter and Facebook where he is claiming that “he did not witness” anything happening in Pahalgam. But wait, how is he supposed to “witness anything” when Fahad clearly did not announce his intentions of sleeping with me publicly? Kaiser wasn’t even the part of the conversation where Fahad got dirty. Fahad made sure that he would converse with me privately.

Yash Sharma, who is working for Vice media and The Kashmir Walla magazine, has not said anything about the culprit or the victims publicly yet he has been messaging people about how he thinks that we are fraud and lying. Yash wasn’t even there at Pahalgam nor was physical present in the office except for 10 days where he nicknamed us PRADA so that these people can talk behind our backs.

The incidents themselves created such trauma that has affected our personal and Professional lives. Even after being the victim of harassment, it is us who have to face the consequences of patriarchy.

I was working with Fahad Shah and we had an informal relation as friends but then I felt it would go wrong as this started to take a deep toll on my professional life. I wasn’t able to write or cover anything despite living in a place where good stories are churning everyday. I asked him to stay formal and that was when my story ideas were ignored and I was sidelined. He stopped responding to my professional queries as well. We weren’t called to the edit meets also.So, the line between personal and professional relationship is blurred beyond repair. The so called Editor-in-chief gave us names like PRADA to talk behind our back.

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Everyone in the organization starts to be way too friendly and when you want to ignore them, they stop coordinating with you. The day I read the tweets against him, I felt empowered within myself and I decided to quit the organization yesterday only. So more power and strength to every girl who saw some good in him only to get mentally tortured eventually.

Also, I would like to mention the name of Irshad from the Gulistan News and Sohail Khan from the Kashmir Despatch who were again too friendly and literally jumped on our bed asked us to sleep with them. We shoved them off the room and literally prayed for the night to end. Statements like, “Tum mujhse bohot chhoti ho or pasand ho” and “I won’t touch girls even if they are naked infront of me” were used. That again, took a deep toll on us.

Note: The Kashmir Press contacted editor The KashmirWalla Fahad Shah for his version. We are awaiting his response.The story will be updated as soon as we receive their version.   

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