Kerala police on Monday arrested two in connection with the destruction of Minnal Murali set. The film stars Tovino Thomas in the lead role.
The accused have been identified as Rashtriya Bajrang Dal Ernakulam district president Ratheesh Malayattoor and one Rahul, Manorama News reported.
The police have filed a case against seven members of the Rashtriya Bajrang Dal and many others. A vehicle which was used in the vandalism has also been seized by the cops. The accused have been booked under various sections of the IPC including, 379 (theft), 454 (trespassing) and 427 (damaging the property).
The Kerala government reacted strongly against the incident. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has promised tough action against those behind the incident. “This is clearly aimed at provoking religious sentiments. Kerala is not a land where such communal forces can thrive. The government will take strong action. There is no doubt about it,” said the Chief Minister at Monday’s press conference.
On Sunday, members of multiple right-wing groups destroyed an estimated Rs 50-lakh set of Minnal Murali claiming the church set hurt their religious sentiments. The Antharashtra Hindu Parishad (AHP) and Bajrang Dal, which publicly claimed responsibility for the vandalism, cited the location of the set, which was near Adi Sankaracharya mutt in Kalady near Ernakulam.
The incident has shocked the entire Malayalam film industry. “The reasons they cite for this unceremonious act are not understood to our senses till now. We’ve heard of movie sets being vandalised by religious fanatics in Northern parts of India. Now, it’s happening to us right here,” Tovino said reacting to the incident. He has also demanded strong action against all the accused to discourage such incidents in the future.
Many celebrities took to social media to express solidarity with the makers of Minnal Murali. They also unanimously slammed the perpetrators of the vandalism.
“So sorry to hear about this Tovi ! Some don’t seem to realise the effort emotions talent and cost that goes into building and creating something. Supporting you and #sophia ma’am and the rest of the team ! Lots of love,” tweeted Dulquer Salmaan.
Nivin Pauly also condemned the incident, while expressing his shock. “Deeply shocked and saddened to see this happening in a State like Kerala. It requires sheer hard work from the producer and effort from hundreds of people who worked for months to create a brilliant film set like this. In complete solidarity with the team of #MinnalMurali (sic),” he wrote on his Twitter account.
Aju Varghese, who is also part of Minnal Murali cast, expressed his distress over the loss. Director Lijo Jose Pellissery also condemned the violence.
“Deeply saddened..not just because it is a film set,more so since such tomfoolery happened in our state ….to think that such a thing happened in these times where a small microbe is shutting shop on all revered institutions…in solidarity with team ” minnal murali”.. (sic),” wrote Anoop Menon on his Facebook page.
So sorry to hear about this Tovi ! Some don’t seem to realise the effort emotions talent and cost that goes into building and creating something. Supporting you and #sophia ma’am and the rest of the team ! Lots of love. https://t.co/MCtqdy8VVg
— dulquer salmaan (@dulQuer) May 25, 2020
Deeply shocked and saddened to see this happening in a State like Kerala. It requires sheer hard work from the producer and effort from hundreds of people who worked for months to create a brilliant film set like this. In complete solidarity with the team of #MinnalMurali. pic.twitter.com/qiGbResrPb
— Nivin Pauly (@NivinOfficial) May 25, 2020
The members of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists and the producers’ council met police officials regarding the incident and have sought swift action against the culprits.
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