Arjun Sarja grilled by cops, denies Sruthi Hariharan charge

Bengaluru: Multilingual actor, Arjun Sarja, on Monday reportedly denied all the allegations made by the complainant and actress Sruthi Hariharan who had accused Sarja of misbehaving with her during the making of the bilingual film Vismaya in 2015.

According to sources, Sarja asked the Cubbon Park police who questioned him on Monday  why Sruthi did not bring any alleged incident  to the notice of the director or the other crew members if anything had happened on the sets while shooting the film. He also informed the police that the scenes were decided by the director and he had played no role in it.

The director of Vismaya, Arun Vaidhyanathan and producer, Umesh in their statement, had told the police that no such incident was brought to their notice by anyone and they knew nothing about it.

Sruthi who joined the #MeTo campaign, had filed the complaint with the police alleging that Sarja sexually harassed her and touched her inappropriately on the sets. The police  registered an FIR based on her complaint under 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).

Sarja appeared before the investigating officer, B Ayyanna Reddy, the police inspector of Cubbon Park police station along with his lawyer and his cousins, Dhruva Sarja and Chiranjivi Sarja on Monday morning at 10:30 am. The investigating officer along with other officers questioned Sarja for almost two hours. The police said that the actor cooperated well and was asked a series of questions regarding the incidents which were described by the complainant.  

According to a source, a police video recorded his statements along with written statements. The actor reportedly told the police that he did not know Sruthi before and met her only on the first day of shooting of the film. He also informed them that he was not present during the auditions for the female lead actress.     

The Karnataka HC on Friday ordered the city police not to arrest actor Arjun Sarja until the next hearing on November 14 and hence the actor was summoned by the police for questioning.

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