Actress Swetha Menon withdrew on Monday her complaint alleging molestation by N Peethambara Kurup after the senior Congress leader and Kollam MP personally and publicly apologised for the insult.
In our system,the victim has to produce evidence. The decision to go back on the complaint is not linked to any pressure, she said.
Kurup,a 73-year-old bachelor,however,denied misbehaviour and said the apology was in his capacity as organiser of the Presidents Trophy Boat Race.
Menon had alleged Friday she was humiliated in public at the venue of the race in Kollam. The bold actress,who allowed the filming of her delivery for a Malayalam movie,said there were repeated attempts to molest her by a public representative at the function. She did not name Kurup but TV channels repeatedly showed his hand behind her.
The Malayalam film industry,which has a history of keeping silent on sexual harassment charges against its members,demanded action against Kurup.
As Menon remained reluctant to file a formal complaint,Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) took the initiative. On Sunday,the police recorded her statement based on a DYFI complaint and slapped non-bailable charges on Kurup.
Meanwhile,the issue snowballed into a major controversy. Government chief whip P C George alleged political conspiracy behind the charges and saw the role of ticket aspirants for the 2014 general elections.
Congress Kollam district president P V Thampan said a person who allowed filming of her delivery for a film had no right to throw muck on a leader like Kurup. He said Menon should reveal her income.
Referring to his media trial,Kurup said it was better I was burnt alive.
The channels showed the back of my palm. Is it possible to molest a person with the back of the palm? I was trying to clear her way amidst the jostling crowd, he said.