The members of Malayalam film fraternity and the public gathered at the Durbar Hall ground in Kochi on Sunday evening to express solidarity with the well-known Malayalam actress, who was allegedly kidnapped and sexually assaulted on Friday night. Several Mollywood actors have already condemned the heinous crime against their woman colleague on social media, calling for an effective investigation and swift justice for the survivor.
WATCH VIDEO|Malayalam Actress Molestation Case: Mollywood Industry Protests Against The Incident In Kochi
Actor Manju Warrier, who has also expressed her outrage on her Facebook page, said that she was finding it very difficult to express her feelings over the incident. She said that the survivor is her close friend. “I met her yesterday after I came to know about the incident. I am proud of her as she is fighting back despite going through such ordeal. I pray to god that it doesn’t happen to any other girl,” she said.
She also noted that it won’t be wise to demonise all the drivers in the film industry following this incident. “Many a times car drivers have taken us home safely during late hours of the night, But, this is a case of criminal conspiracy,” she said.
Superstar Mammootty, who did not comment on the incident on his social media handles, took part in the protest meet. He appreciated the survivor for fighting back against her tormentors and not giving into fear. He also said they will fight until all the perpetrators of this crime are brought to justice. He also opined that as a society it is everyone’s responsibility to protect and respect women and prevent such crimes in the future.
“You have my word. We are with you. You are not alone. There is a big group of people that loves you and supports you in your fight,” Mammootty said while ending his speech.
Actor Dileep, who spoke after Mammootty said he was shocked when he heard the news as he has acted with the actress in question in many movies and considers her as one of his family members. “This is not an issue that concerns only film industry but our entire state,” he said, while asking the support of the media and police to bring the criminals to justice.
Director Kamal also praised the survivor for setting an example for other women in the country. “This is a big lesson for us the people of Kerala, who were living in a bubble thinking such things won’t happen here. This incident burst that bubble,” he said.
All the other actors who spoke at the event called for the strengthening of the law enforcement and heightened security for women across the state. And even some recommended background checks of the employees working in the film industry to ensure such crimes don’t happen again.
On Friday night, she was on her way to Kochi from her home in Thrissur when a group of 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, Kerala police nabbed two more accused in the case. The survivor 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.
(All pictures courtesy: Mohammad Hashique, IE Malayalam)