Correction: A previous version of this article erroneously stated that an FIR was filed against Arunabh Kumar. A complaint has been filed by an independent lawyer. The error is regretted.
A complaint has been filed against The Viral Fever (TVF) founder Arunabh Kumar in Mumbai by a Mumbai-based lawyer Rizwan Siddiquee, CNN News18 reported today.
The complaint has been filed under Indian Penal Code sections: 354, 354-A, 354-D and 509 for "intentionally indulging into various willful, criminal, vulgar and continuous acts of sexual harassment at workplace coupled with acts of outraging the modesty of women as well as molesting women at the workplace."
Earlier this week, an unidentified woman, who used the pseudonym Indian Fowler, posted a blog titled "The Indian Uber- That is TVF" which said that her former boss, Kumar, had sexually harassed her more than once. "Right from Pitchers to Tripling, I was molested. Be it in parties where Arunabh would try to lift me or would try and fall on me pretending he is drunk," she wrote.
"One instance was the Ola deal. The Ola team was meeting him and we were taking notes. He walks out of the meeting with some excuse and calls me for some notes. I walk up. He says its time we do a quicky. I am stunned. And i told him i will go to the police. He says "Police to meri pocket me hai". I walked out deciding never to come back. Then get a call from Legal saying that I am in a breach of contract. Even my Mom tells me not to fight them. Why? Because a 24 year old girl cant fight an IIT guy with so much of money. He calls up my father and tells him that i am making up stories. Whatever that means." - The Indian Uber- That is TVF
While the web production house responded immediately by threatening retaliatory action against the writer, other women came forward with accusations of sexual harassment against Kumar. "We will leave no stone unturned to find the author of the article and bring them to severe justice for making such false allegations," TVF said earlier. Following the uproar, TVF then said that "an investigation will be conducted and appropriate actions will be taken."
On Wednesday, Mid Day reported that more than 50 women have now complained against Kumar. Mid Day reported that the twitter handle which hosted the original blog has received 50 direct messages alleging encounters with Arunabh.
Kumar, 34, has denied any wrongdoing. "I unconditionally and unequivocally deny all these allegations," he told Mumbai Mirror. "Social media has already declared me an offender, but I am ready to address all the allegations against me. I am open to receiving a police complaint so that I can respond legally as well. TVF is bigger than me and if there is a remote chance that I have done any wrong, let me be persecuted."
TVF has more than two million subscribers on their YouTube channel, and they received funding of $10 million from hedge fund Tiger Global last year.
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