Popular south Indian actor Arjun Sarja has been cleared of s*xual misconduct charges levelled against him by actress Sruthi Hariharan when she came out with her ‘#MeToo’ story.
The Karnataka police have submitted a ‘B-report’ to the First Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) court in this regard, police said on Tuesday.
Actress Sruthi Hariharan has made a four-page statement against Arjun Sarja on her social media as part of ‘Me Too campaign’ and revealed how she was affected by the incident voicing her support for the #MeToo Movement. The case was taken up by the Cubbon Park police in Bengaluru for investigation three years ago.
Sruthi alleged that before a shot, the actor, on the pretext of a rehearsal, 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,” Sruti wrote.
Police also said that the victim Sruthi Hariharan has also received official communication about it. After legal proceedings and inquiry, due to the lack of evidence, Arjun Sarja has been cleared of all charges against him, the police said.
Sruthi Hariharan had alleged that she faced s*xual harassment during the shoot of the movie ‘Vismaya’ by her co-star Sarja. It hit the headlines as Sarja is a popular actor in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada films.
After the allegations were made, the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) also tried to intervene and sort out the issue as it led to protests by Arjun Sarja fans in Karnataka. Sruthi Hariharan attended the meeting arranged by KFCC and reiterated her allegations.
Sarja has maintained that he didn’t know why the controversy caught up with him.