A day after the news of alleged sexual assault of a popular Malayalam actress shook the entire film industry, actor Dulquer Salmaan has issued a statement expressing his outrage over the incident. Even as he said he takes pride in the way women are treated and respected in Kerala, the shocking attack on his colleague has frightened him to the core.
“I was hesitant to speak out about this incident yesterday out of respect for the victim of this travesty. It’s easy to just post something on social media, but I’m afraid it somehow becomes about yourself. This is so much more than all that. It’s something that sickens and frightens my core,” he posted on his Facebook page.
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“I take great pride in our state and how safe our society is. Especially how we treat and respect our women. And yesterday it’s like that shattered,” he added.
Dulquer also said that it is the responsibility of all men to respect and protect women. “This is somebody’s daughter, somebody’s sister somebody’s family and someone who has brought to life so many wonderful characters to us film lovers. I wish and pray our superb police force, the Kerala Police catch these spineless cowards hiding behind their masks. Including myself and our industry, I request all our boys and men, young and old to be alert and vigilant. It’s equally our responsibility to care about, look out for, and to respect & protect our women,” he said.
Dulquer is the latest celebrity from the Malayalam film industry to have expressed outrage over the alleged sexual assault of the particular actress that recently took place near Kochi.
Actor Tovino Thomas said that incident has increased the fear of safety among women in Kerala and requested others to address the real problem, instead of sensationalising it.
“Absolutely shocked by what a friend has been subjected to, in the last few hours. The already insecure feeling for women here has become multifold. I was assured she is safe and well at home, but the whole thing has been alarming. Firstly the inhuman behaviour of men, regardless of similar wombs from where they came. And then the trauma of fear. Fear for how the helpless situation will be perceived. Fear of how the incident will be projected. And fear for the consequences. Already, “social channels” with zero credibility are running their shows on digital media. Let’s not immerse in the incident; look at the issue that needs addressing, the bigger picture,” he posted on his Facebook page.
Prithviraj has requested the media and others to respect the survivor’s guts even as he opined that she should not let the unfortunate incident dictate her rest of the life. “…as a man who has to share the responsibility of a society that bears this shame, I hang my head! But please..the most we can collectively do at this moment..is to respect the guts of this girl.”
On Friday night, the actress was on her way to Kochi from her home in Thrissur when four perpetrators, including her former driver, waylaid her car near Angamaly and sexually assaulted her. Her ordeal in the moving car lasted for about two hours till they reached Palarivattom.
On Sunday, the Kerala police nabbed two more accused in the case. The victim has also alleged that the accused took photographers and videos when she was subjected to sexual assault in the moving car. She is a popular face down south as she has acted in all the four south Indian languages, including Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, and Telugu.
According to reports, even though the actress has not alleged rape, the accused will face charges under Sections 366 (kidnapping), 376 (rape) of IPC and Section 66 of the IT Act.