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17 Nov 2018, Edition - 1222, Saturday

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FIR against Arjun Sarja after Sruthi Hariharan files sexual harassment complaint


As part of the #MeToo movement, Kannada-Tamil actress Sruthi Harahan called out actor Arjun Sarja, who had reportedly made sexual advances on the sets of Kannada film Vismaya (Nibunan in Tamil).

According to the latest development, Sruthi has filed a police complaint against Arjun at the Cubbon Park police station in Bengaluru.

Based on her complaint, the Cubbon Park police has issued FIR under the sections 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty, 354A (Sexual Harassment), and 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman).

Sruthi, in her complaint, revealed that Arjun ran over his hand on her back while rehearsing for a romantic scene from the film. She stated, “I reached the set around 7:30 am and continued up to 6 pm. On the day, as per the script, we needed to hug after a particular dialogue, After the scene was over, there was rehearsal as desired by the director. During rehearsal, Arjun Sarja began cuddling, touching my hips, moving up to my bra, bringing the movement of the hand down to my hip and further down to my thigh. I took exception that he behaved inappropriately and out of context. I silently suffered and was unable to express it since I am an upcoming artist. Apart from that, he was a senior established artist having clout in the film industry,” she disclosed.

She further added, “Before I could react, he again pulled me very close and moved his hand behind my back, asking the director “whether we can improvise like this in the scene”. I immediately went to the director and told him I cannot work like this as all his gestures/acts are intended to insult my modesty and all his advances, physical contact are nothing but explicit sexual overtures. Unable to be consoled, I rushed to the caravan and started weeping.”

Sruthi also stated that she was harassed while enacting another scene whether they were supposed to lie together in bed. “Taking advantage of the situation, he pulled my hand forcing me to come very close to him, hug him, but I pushed his hand, finished the scene and came off the set. I felt Arjun Sarja was determined to outrage my modesty in spite of my resistance,” she disclosed.

The Nibunan actress also stated that she didn’t seek legal action in 2015 thinking that her career could go for a toss. She has also sought police protection as she is reportedly receiving threats from Arjun’s manager Prashanth Sambargi.