CHENNAI: A senior executive of the Sun Group was on Friday arrested here following a complaint of sexual harassment by a former senior staff member of the group’s Malayalam channel Surya TV. The woman is said to be a close relative of a leading cinematographer from Kerala and the accused also hails from the State.
Sleuths from the Central Crime Branch (CCB) picked up the group’s chief operating officer,
C Praveen, from his Anna Nagar residence late on Thursday night and quizzed him until late Friday afternoon, and presented him before a magistrate who remanded him in judicial custody for 15 days. Police said the woman, who was working with Surya TV since 2011, complained of continuous harassment by Praveen for the past two years. Unable to withstand his advances, she quit the organisation. However, Praveen, who was supposed to clear her payment, withheld her dues to the tune of about `36 lakh, allegedly exploiting it to force her to give in to his demands. “He would not make my payment... it would be processed only if he was ‘serviced’ well,” the woman charged in her complaint.
Senior officers privy to the investigation said Praveen would call her for a meeting, but would avoid discussions on official matters. “Rather than discussing official plans, he would make her listen to his sexual desires. The victim was so traumatised that she was mulling suicide after naming him in her complaint,” an officer noted. The woman has submitted voice and data recordings of conversations, including text message exchanges, to substantiate her charges against the COO in her complaint. Praveen has been booked under provisions of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Sexual Harassment of Women Act and IPC sections.
Earlier, a news editor of Sun News was arrested on charges of sexually harassing a news reader who had also quit.