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‘I’m real victim’, Malayalam actor Vijay Babu after booked for rape

Police said Babu has gone into hiding and another case will be registered against him for revealing the identity of the complainant.

By: Express News Service | Thiruvanthapuram |
Updated: April 28, 2022 2:21:25 am
Malayalam film actor-producer Vijay Babu (File)

Kerala Police have registered a rape case against Malayalam film actor-cum-producer Vijay Babu on the complaint of a woman actor from Kozhikode. Hours after the case was registered against him, Babu revealed the name of the survivor, claiming innocence and that he is the real victim.

Police said Babu has gone into hiding and another case will be registered against him for revealing the identity of the complainant.

Police said the woman actor had filed a complaint with Kochi police on April 22, alleging that Babu sexually abused her several times, promising roles in films.

Revealing the name of the complainant, Babu, in a Facebook live, said “I am the real victim in the case and hence revealing complainant’s name”.

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Babu said he had known the woman since 2018 and she was given a chance to act in his productions. “She had sent several messages to me saying that she is facing depression. I have around 400 screen shots of those messages. I haven’t sent any message to her for the last one-and-a-half years,’’ he said.

Babu said he will file a complaint against the woman for tarnishing his image. “I will file a defamation case against the complainant. Let it be the beginning of a new Me Too. Let us start a new fight,’’ he said.

Babu, who has been active in the film industry for over a decade, is the founder of film production company ‘Friday Film House’ and has around half-a-dozen productions to his credit.

The rape charge against the actor-cum-producer has come up at a time when many in the Malayalam film industry are facing similar allegations. Last month, police had arrested filmmaker Liju Krishna on charges of sexually abusing a woman, who had assisted in his productions. Following the arrest, the directors’ union under the Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) revoked Krishna’s membership even as the Women in Cinema Collective demanded his suspension from all film bodies.

Last month, Kerala High Court had asked organisations associated with the film industry to take steps to constitute a joint committee to deal with cases of sexual harassment, in line with the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act of 2013. The court recommended that every film production unit should have an internal complaints committee (ICC) if engaging more than 10 workers.

The petitioner, Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), had pointed out that the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) had failed to implement a grievance redressing mechanism for its members against sexual harassment at workplace, and that this failure was a breach of the Vishaka Guidelines of the Supreme Court and violation of provisions of the 2013 Act.

The WCC took up the matter with the court in the wake of the case pertaining to the abduction and sexual assault of a woman actor in 2017. Popular actor Dileep is one of the accused in the case and also the “conspirator” as per the prosecution. Trial in the case is going on at a special court in Kochi.

Kochi City Police Deputy Commissioner V U Kuriakose said another case will be registered against the actor on charges of disclosing the name of the rape survivor. “A probe is on. He has gone into hiding after the rape case was registered,” he said.

Meanwhile, in the Facebook page of “Women Against Sexual Harassment,’’ the rape survivor said Vijay Babu had assaulted her physically and sexually from March 13, 2022, to April 14.

She said she had worked with Babu for a movie. “He won my trust by being friendly and advising me as I was a novice in the film industry. Under the guise of a professional guide, he sexually exploited me. Disregarding my protest, he raped me several times,’’ narrated the complainant in the Facebook post.

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