File photo of Arjuna Ranatunga. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga on Wednesday was accused of sexually harassing an Indian flight attendant at a hotel in Mumbai.
Ranatunga is credited with transforming the Sri Lankan national cricket team from underdog to one of the greats in the cricketing world.
The woman narrated the alleged incident in a lengthy Facebook post and wrote that during a visit to India, Ranatunga allegedly grabbed the woman by her waist. The woman ran to the hotel reception and reported the matter but the staff allegedly told her, "It is your private matter."
"My stars struck colleague spotted Indian and Sri Lankan cricketers in the elevator of Hotel Juhu Centaur, Mumbai and decided to meet them in their room for autographs. I decided to chaperone her, fearing for her safety, we were offered drinks (perhaps laced) I declined and stuck to my bottle of water I'd brought along. They were 7 and we 2, they latched the room door putting the chain secure. My discomfort growing inside of me, I urged her to get back to our room.
"She was smitten and wanted to go for a stroll by the poolside, this was at 1900 hrs, the walk to the pool a desolate, unlit pathway at the back of the hotel, I look back to find (her friend) and the Indian cricketer nowhere in sight.
"Ranatunga grabs me by waist, sliding his hands along the side of my breasts, I scream fearing the worst, kicking on his legs and feet. Threatening him of dire consequences, passport cancellation, reporting it to the cops etc., for he is a Sri Lankan misbehaving with an Indian. Wasting no time, I dashed for the hotel reception a good run on an incline screaming on top of my voice. The reception said, "it is your private matter" and that they can't help me," the woman wrote in her Facebook post.
In the same post, the woman also accused Bollywood singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya of sexually harassing her at Hotel Hindustan International in Kolkata in the summer of 1998.
She wrote that Bhattacharya grabbed her by her wrist and pulled her closer for refusing to dance or get intimate with him. He also screamed in her ear, “Bitch, what do you think of yourself, wait till I teach you a lesson” before almost kissing and nibbling her on her left ear.
The #MeToo movement has gathered storm in India after Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta accused veteran actor Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her on a film set back in 2010.
Since Dutta's allegations, a lot of women from various fields come out to speak about their own sexual harassment encounters.