Earlier today, sexual harassment allegations against Patari cofounder and CEO Khalid Bajwa surfaced on social media.
One woman, Mehravaar, came forward on Twitter and shared screenshots of her WhatsApp exchange with Bajwa, finally speaking out, claiming that she felt "uncomfortable and overpowered by a man twice my age."
She added that he "graced me with unwelcome hugs" at public events.
Speaking to Images, Mehravaar said: "I just want to say that he’s been doing this for years. Especially to young girls. Coercing them to meet, reminding them of his position of power and trying to entice with weird perks related to Patari and whatnot. I just want people to be safe from him."
A short time after Mehravaar came forward, another Twitter user Zainab used the platform to allege that Bajwa had similarly behaved inappropriately with her. She said: "Although it was a very long time ago. I was only 17, I went through a stupid breakup and this guy, mind you he was 27 years old back then, took so much advantage of me back then. I was only 17 and didn’t know any better."
Since then, a third woman has come forward to Images and spoken about her experience with the Patari cofounder under anonymity: "We'd be talking about work and he'd deviate and ask me out for coffee or ask me to paint my nails red for him, his "dying wish". He later apologised for such comments by saying 'I never meant anything by it, I think I lost the handle on the conversation a bit. I was really upset with myself. Eik toh tharak mari bhi nahi aur ulta par bhi gayi.' I brushed it off but clearly I know now that this wasn't a one-off incident."
Patari has since released an official statement online which reads: In light of recent events, Patari's CEO Khalid Bajwa will be stepping down from his post with immediate effect." And that an investigation is underway.
Images has reached out to Patari for further comment, but the portal has declined to issue any further statement at this time.
Images has also reached out to Khalid Bajwa and awaits a response.