Bengaluru: Sandalwood actor Sruthi Hariharan filed a complaint with Cubbon Park police here on Saturday, accusing her co-actor in Vismaya Arjun Sarja of sexually harassing her in 2015.
Sruthi alleged that Arjun was sexually harassed her and touched her inappropriately on the sets during the shooting of the bilingual film.
The Cubbon Park police have registered an FIR based on her complaint under Sections 354, 354A and 509. Section 354 relates to assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty, 506 to punishment for criminal intimidation and 509 to word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman.
"In November 2015, I and Arjun were rehearsing for an intimate scene for the film at a bungalow near Presidency College in Hebbal in Bengaluru. On that 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 the rehearsal, Arjun 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 artiste, while he was a senior established actor and enjoyed clout in the film industry," she stated in her complaint.
She also alleged in the complaint that Arjun intentionally suggested changes in the scenes to take advantage of her in the name of rehearsal. "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 is nothing but explicit sexual overtures. Unable to be consoled, I rushed to the caravan and started weeping," her complaint stated.
Sruthi further alleged that Arjun had on many occasions made advances and explicit sexual overtures asking her to meet him in his room to "have some fun".
"I repeatedly felt like taking legal action, but could not muster enough courage as I was an upcoming artiste and spelling it out could jeopardise my career. Apprehending danger to my life, I silently suffered all these days without approaching the law enforcement agency," she added.
This is the third complainant filed by Sruthi, the other two complaints were filed against Arjun's media manager Prashanth Sambargi, accusing him of issuing life threats and using social media platform to tarnish her image.