#MeToo: Sruthi Hariharan refutes reports that she challenged clean chit given to Arjun Sarja | Azad Times

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Azad Times News Desk.

Sruthi told TNM that she decided to not challenge the clean chit given to Arjun Sarja as the onus is on the police to find witnesses and they weren’t inclined to.

Kannada actor Sruthi Hariharan has denied reports in various news outlets that claimed that she had been asked by the police to provide further evidence on a sexual misconduct case filed against actor Arjun Sarja. On June 9, many media outlets reported that Sruthi challenged the B-report (closure report) submitted by the Karnataka Police to the court in connection with the MeToo case against Arjun Sarja, and had been asked to provide evidence by the court.

Sruthi however says that no such communication has come to her as she never challenged the B-report in the first place. “Early this year I received a notice from the court saying that they are going to close the case "due to lack of evidence". I was given 15 days by the court to challenge the same. I decided not to and informed the police that I will not be challenging it.”

In 2018, Sruthi wrote a Facebook post alleging that Arjun Sarja ran his hands up and down her back intimately and pulled her towards his body without her consent during the rehearsal of a romantic scene for the movie Vismaya. Following this, a case was registered at the Cubbon Park police station in Bengaluru, meanwhile Arjun Sarja also went to court with a defamation suit.

The Cubbon park police submitted a B-report to the First Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) in December 2021.

“I did not think there was any point in challenging the report. The onus is on the police to find witnesses, there were many people on the film set. Is it my responsibility? What is the point of challenging the report when the police do not seem to be giving it their all? Moreover, I have said this before too, me voicing my protest and opposition to his act openly was my victory,” Sruthi told TNM.

The actor said she was surprised at the ‘breaking news’ across channels that she had challenged the B-report. “Suddenly, local media channels started broadcasting "breaking news" that ‘Sruthi challenged’ the closure of the case. I have no idea where they got this news from. I have no idea why they would pull out something untrue like this and tell the public the same. This is unethical and bad journalism,” she said.

Sruthi had stated in 2018 that the incident had happened in front of 50 people. "I wanted nothing but to stay away from him, rather than stay and be tolerant of his lewd and unprofessional behaviour," Sruthi had alleged. "Sarja needs to make sure how he doesn't cross the thin line between two actors and use his position of power to cause another person discomfort," she stated.

The incident had stirred a big controversy in the Karnataka film industry. Though the Kannada Film Chamber of Commerce tried to resolve the issue under the leadership of veteran late actor and politician Ambareesh, it couldn't be resolved as Sruthi lodged a police complaint against the actor. Arjun Sarja outrightly rejected the allegations that Sruthi Hariharan had made and filed a defamation case of Rs 5 crore against her in 2018.

Read: ‘I used to get 3 offers a week, barely any now’: Actor Sruthi Hariharan on MeToo fallout | The News Minute

Read: Bengaluru police say no proof against Arjun Sarja 3 yrs after Sruthi Hariharan's Me Too

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