In 2018, actor Sruthi Hariharan had alleged that she was sexually harassed by Arjun Sarja during the shooting of the movie ‘Vismaya’.

Actor Arjun SarjaInstagram/ Arjun Sarja
Flix Me Too Thursday, December 02, 2021 - 15:47

Three years after actor Sruthi Hariharan filed a sexual harassment complaint against actor Arjun Sarja, the Bengaluru police probing the case have said that they have not found any proof against him. On Tuesday, November 30, the police submitted 'B-report' to the First Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) court saying that they were unable to find any evidence against Arjun. A ‘B-report’ is filed by investigators when they are unable to find proof to substantiate the allegations made in the First Information Report (FIR) filed by the complainant.

In 2018, Sruthi Hariharan had put out a four-page statement on social media alleging that Arjun Sarja had misbehaved with her on the sets of the Tamil movie Vismaya (released as Nibuban in Tamil). The allegation came amid the Me Too movement. The case was taken up by the Cubbon Park police in Bengaluru for investigation. 

According to the Times of India, the report filed by the police at the VIII ACMM court cites that the statements made by the director, producers and others who were on the sets of the movie were "vague" about the allegations levelled against actor Arjun Sarja. The TOI report adds that actor Sruthi Hariharan is currently in talks with advocates on how to proceed with the case.  

In 2018, Sruthi said that before a shot, the actor, on the pretext of a rehearsal, allegedly hugged her and ran his hands up and down her back without her consent. "I was aghast. I am all for depicting realism in cinema, but this felt absolutely wrong. His intent seemed anything but professional. I hated that he did it and was angry that I didn't know what to say then," Sruthi wrote.  

After the allegations were made, the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) tried to intervene as it had led to protests by Arjun Sarja fans in Karnataka. Sruthi Hariharan attended the meeting arranged by KFCC and reiterated her allegations. 

Following this, Arjun Sarja had filed a defamation suit of Rs 5 crore at the Bengaluru City Civil Court. Sruthi had also filed a complaint against Arjun in Cubbon Park police station under IPC 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).  

Speaking to TNM earlier, Sruthi expressed that the number of offers she was receiving had reduced after she spoke up. “As much as it hurts my ego and pride to accept it, and as much as it saddens me that in future probably fewer women will speak up fearing for their careers, it is time to face the reality of the way things are. I used to get at least three offers a week, up until a few months ago. I did have a variety of scripts to choose from, especially in Kannada,” she said.  

Arjun Sarja has denied Sruthi’s account of the events.

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