Fed up with alleged police inaction on an online abuse complaint, a dubbing artiste and two other women barged into the residence of a Kerala YouTuber, beat him up and elicited an apology on live video, before seizing his laptop and handing it over to the cops.
One day after the episode in Thiruvananthapuram, artiste Bhagyalakshmi, and activists Sreelakshmi Arakkal and Diya Sana, Sunday won the strong backing of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Health and Social Justice Minister K K Shailaja, as well as a wide section of civil society.
Bearing the brunt of the women’s fury was YouTuber Vijay P Nair, known to upload videos with derogatory and sexually explicit comments on his channel. He was slapped, doused with motor oil and made to apologise on a Facebook Live video.
Vijayan said the government would intervene to ensure justice for the victims as well as punishment for the accused. “Direction has been given to police for conducting a comprehensive probe into the complaints. However, everyone should be careful not to take law into their own hands,’’ he said in a statement.
“Stringent action will be taken against those who have abused women through social media. If the law is not suitable for that, we will think about legislating a new law,” he said.
It was only after this incident that police registered a case against Nair based on Bhagyalakshmi’s week-old complaint. The police said they registered three more cases—one against the women on a complaint by Nair, another against Nair after Arakkal’s complaint, and the last against director Santhivila Dinesh, who made an offensive comment about Bhagyalakshmi over the incident.
Bhagyalakshmi told the media that they had no other option but to act against Nair. “He has been repeatedly insulting women through social media. His videos insulting women are widely circulated in social media. We were forced to act against him when police failed to register a case against him despite a complaint,” she said.
Shailaja told the media that she was happy about the way the women reacted. “But we can discuss later about the way they had resorted to react against the person. The government will not tolerate social media attacks on women. Social media posts insulting women should not be encouraged. Making money by insulting others online won’t be allowed,’’ said the minister.
The Film Employees Federation of Kerala, a film technician body, extended its support to the artiste.
Nair calls himself a clinical psychologist and frequently uploads videos with vulgar remarks against film artists. However, the Kerala chapter of the Indian Association of Clinical Psychologists made it clear that he is neither a psychologist nor associated with the organisation.
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