A sad news broke out late Friday night about a leading Malayalam actor being molested and photographed in a moving car for two hours near Kochi. The popular female actor was abducted for a while on her way from Thrissur to Kochi by some people, who reportedly took pictures of her for blackmailing, police said on Saturday.
The incident has certainly shocked that industry and affected several actors at large. Prithviraj Sukumaran, who was about to start a film with this female actor, shared his sadness on the unfortunate news. He also shared that she told him she would like not to return in front of the camera anytime soon, and so is pulling out of the film.
WATCH VIDEO |Malayalam Actress Molestation Case: Mollywood Industry Protests Against The Incident In Kochi
Here is Prithviraj Sukumaran’s full post:
Woke up today morning to the horrifying news that has by now been reported, misreported and sensationalised. As disturbing as it was, I refrained from saying something on what happened to one of the most beautiful girls I know because I knew whatever I or any one among our fraternity say, will only be fodder to click baits and TRP mongering. By now, all that can be said about the security of women in our “matriarchal/matrilineal” God’s own country has already been said. And yes..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. I was supposed to start work with her in a week, and she told me that she’d like not to come back in front of the camera so soon..and so is pulling out of the film. I know this girl..I know how brave she is…if it’s affected her enough to make her stay away from what she loves the most..I can only imagine how harrowing it must have been. Yes..please let us have an effective investigation in place and please let’s bring the bastards to justice asap..but please..let us also not allow anyone..ANYONE..to celebrate someone else’s misfortune. WITH YOU *******…will look forward to hanging with you as soon as you’re up to it..and yeah..be who you are..and don’t let today dictate the rest of your life. Love always..Prithvi. PS: Please spare me the “English Medium” jokes on this one. Thanks.
Malayalam playback singer Sayanora Philip, who was also a victim of harassment by an Uber driver in December last year, shared her reaction on the case, by posting a comment on Prithviraj’s post itself. She wrote, “As long as i know her, she is one of the boldest and bravest souls of all the women iv ever known in this industry. She will b bak, and she will make sure that each one of the cuplrit gets their deserved share of punishment. Really glad that you came out with this.”
As per the latest update in this Malayalam actor case, police have registered an FIR against seven persons, including her car driver who was arrested on Saturday. P Vijayan, Inspector General of Police (Kochi range), said though the actress hasn’t alleged rape, the accused will face charges under Sections 366 (kidnapping), 376 (rape) of IPC and Section 66 of the IT Act. As outrage mounted, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said police will take “stern action” against the culprits. “All of them have been identified. Such an attack should not have happened against a woman and it is a matter of grave concern,’’ he said.
The actress is a popular face in the south Indian film industry as she has acted in Malayalam, Tamil and Kannada movies.
Her former driver is a suspect in the case and has been taken into custody, police said. While the victim’s statement has now been recorded before a magistrate, the police probe team has zeroed down on six others who were in the gang, of which three have been already identified, while three others are yet to be identified.
Earlier in the day, Kerala Police chief Loknath Behra said they have identified those behind the ‘kidnap’ of Bhavana near Kochi. Speaking to the media in the state capital, Behra said that a joint investigation team has been formed to track down those behind the crime.
“We know who are behind this and we will very quickly arrest all of them and get to the bottom of the truth,” said Behra.The probe team is being supervised led by ADGP B. Sandhya, with IG of Police Dhinendra Kashyap as the key investigation officer.
Nedumbassery police have registered a case relevant sections for kidnapping and molestation. According to police, her former driver is believed to be part of a gang of six behind the incident. The hugely popular actress after a shoot on Friday night was on way from Thrissur to Kochi to take part in the dubbing of her new film directed by director and actor Lal.
While on way, a car hit her vehicle from behind, following which an argument erupted. The passengers of the other car forcefully entered her car and drove off with the actress. Bhavana was held hostage for two hours when the gang took pictures of the actress to blackmail her for money, reports said.
“The gang behind the incident is from the film industry and involved in various production jobs,” police said. Police, after tracing the call list, have zeroed down on the actress’ former driver, who was thrown out after she came to know of his criminal background. He is believed to be the main culprit.
After being held hostage by the criminal gang, the actress managed to reach the home of Lal, who informed police. Speaking to reporters, Lal said he has been advised by the police probe team not to speak about the incident as it would hamper their investigation.
The actress for some time was not having the best of relations with a group in the Malayalam film industry, and the group had scuttled a few good roles that she was offered, according to reports. Police are looking into all aspects of the incident and will probe if this was a planned move against the actress.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who is currently in Delhi, told reporters there that police are doing their job and will certainly arrest those responsible. Lok Sabha member Innocent, President of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists, told reporters that he had tried to get in touch with Vijayan over the incident. He said police chief Behra had assured him that all behind the incident would be arrested.
Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Ramesh Chennithala, currently on a day-long protest at his home constituency near Alappuzha over the “sudden deterioration” of the law and order situation in the state, expressed shock over the incident.
“If this is the plight of a celebrity, what can one say about ordinary people? This is really shocking,” said Chennithala, a former state Home Minister.