A popular Malayalam actress was reportedly abducted and allegedly molested by her driver – known as Pulsar Suni – along with six others. Within hours of the incident taking place, the actress gave her statement before a Judicial First Class magistrate in Ernakulam. Police are now accessing his call records and more details are awaited.
Based on TV news reports from Mathrubhumi News channel and Manorama News channel, here are the latest developments on this at 7 PM:
Rs 30 Lakh promised by Pulsar Suni to accomplices
The latest development, as reported by Manorama News channel, is that the arrested men stated that they had been promised a sum of Rs 30 lakh that would be paid to them after this incident but they were not paid this amount. They were given to understand that the actress could be blackmailed. This plan went for a toss after the actor gave her statement.
Call records of Pulsar Suni reveal that actors called him immediately after the incident
At 6 PM this evening, Mathrubhumi News channel had flashed a news update that the police have accessed call records of Pulsar Suni – the main accused – which shows that actors from the Malayalam film industry had called him on his cell phone after the incident. More details are awaited.
Producer Suresh Kumar had told Mathrubhumi News channel yesterday, “This is a one-off case. Such a thing should never happen in our industry. It is difficult to identify who are criminals and who are likely to do these things – the film industry and technical staff are huge. A few criminals can ruin an industry. The police need to pay attention to the rising menace and the increasing nexus between goondas and the police.”
More voices are pitching for not just a detailed investigation of the nexus between goons and cops but also for long-term safety measures to help women in distress.
Women feel unsafe in the state, cops humiliate victims: Activists
Parvathy, a prominent activist, told Asianet News, “The number of women who approach me almost daily saying that this happened to them but the police are not helping them. Kerala society has an attitude towards rape which is more on the likes of ‘there must be a reason for you being raped which we don’t know about’ – this is a serious concern facing our women today. Goondas know that victims will be treated like this not just by the cops but also by their own. The society’s mindset has to change.”
Popular dubbing artist Bhagyalakshmi slammed the state government and the process of law, saying, “Is there law and order in this state anymore? Teach your daughters to fight and if required, kill men who attempt rape on them – we will fight the case in court. What is happening now is that rape victims are being humiliated at every stage and finally they are unable to face the society or live with dignity. This has been happening for too long in our society.”
Director Vinayan told Asianet News last evening, “This is not a small issue. To kidnap and molest a well-known popular actress is not something that happened out of the blue – there has been conspiracy. The accused are individuals who are, in different ways, working in the film industry itself. So, how did the sequence of events happen and what really happened to trigger this? An incident like this is unheard of in Kerala. I appeal to the police to not hide the truth from the public. We are seeing this trend happen in the last few months – where the cops and government hide facts of the case because they don’t want to lose face in front of the public.”
Director Vinayan further told Asianet News, ” I admire the actress for coming out and making her statement. She is no less than Nirbhaya in her fearlessness. She deserves justice. This should not be treated as a lightly. It is a known fact that some of our film organizations and unions in our industry resort to the worst kind of actions to hit out at certain issues and to make their clout clear to others. This incident is an eye-opener for the whole film industry to introspect on how we are resolving issues within.”
Political slugfest and blame game has begun
“What has happened is unfortunate and we see there are involvement of drivers, the current and former, the police are probing the matter thoroughly and will be taking strict action, ” Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijaya had told reporters.
Ramesh Chennithala, Congress leader, slammed CM Pinarayi Vijayan stating, “A popular actress was raped and her photos were taken. Is this not a serious issue? The police are not taking any action. The link between goondas and government is increasing in this state unlike ever before. This is a matter of women’s safety. The government is not showing any concern.”
Kerala Congress Committee (KPCC) president VM Sudheeran told reporters that women’s safety in Kerala is under threat and that the state is becoming a haven for goons and quotation gangs.
State BJP president Kummanam Rajasekharan stated that lawlessness has been unleashed in Kerala, after the Left assumed power in the state.
According to Mathrubhumi TV news channel, K Muraleedharan, senior Congress leader said, “Police must investigate whether any individual in the film industry has given a ‘quotation’ in this incident.”
However, the film industry has expressed confidence that the government and the police are doing everything to find the criminals without delay. Prominent actors and directors in the industry expressed complete solidarity with the actress and extended their support to her.