Thiruvananthapuram: A day after a leading Malayalam actress was kidnapped and assaulted in her car, police have arrested her driver and detained two other people.
The incident reportedly occurred on Friday night when the actress was travelling from Thrissur to Ernakulam.
Sources said a tempo-traveller rammed into the vehicle in which she travelling. When the driver of the actress’s car got down after the collision, two men entered the car and assaulted her and tried to click pictures. They then drove the actress towards Ernakulam for the next half an hour, sources said.
On Sunday, police arrested the actress’s driver on suspicion of colluding with the attackers. They suspect a gang, led by the actress’s former driver, Pulsar Suni alias Sunilkumar, to be behind the attack.
A case has been registered under Sections 376 (rape), 365 (kidnap), 120b (criminal conspiracy), 341 (wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code and provisions of the IT Act.
DGP Loknath Behra said an investigation was on and all accused would be booked.
Meanwhile, in a Facebook post, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said attacks on women “would not be tolerated”. “No accused in this case will escape the law. The police are after the accused. They will be booked and all efforts will be made to ensure maximum punishment. This is something that should not have happened,” he said.
“The police and government will take every step to book the culprits. I don’t want to create a political controversy. Entire Kerala is in a shock. We must take this as a warning,” former CM Oommen Chandy told CNN-News18.
Prominent actors of the Malayam film industry, too, have made spoken out against the incident on social media.
In a Facebook post, actor Prithviraj said: “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 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 (sic),” he added.
Tovino Thomas also took to Facebook to express solidarity with the actress. “Absolutely shocked by what a friend has been subjected to, in the last few hours. The already insecure feeling for women here has become multi-fold. I was assured she is safe and well at home, but the whole thing has been alarming.”
“Firstly the inhuman behaviour of men, regardless of similar wombs from where they came. And then the trauma of fear. Fear for how the helpless situation will be perceived. Fear of how the incident will be projected. And fear for the consequences. Already, “social channels” with zero credibility are running their shows on digital media. Let’s not immerse in the incident; look at the issue that needs addressing, the bigger picture,” he added.
Regional channel Kairali has also come under attack for its coverage of the incident.