Malayalam actress abducted by unidentified men; suspects still absconding
A noted Malayalam actress was abducted by unidentified men and molested on Friday night in Kochi. As of now, one man has been arrested and the police are on the hunt for the remaining culprits, reports ANI.
According to Malayalam news website IEmalayalam.com, a group of men forced themselves into the victim's car at 10:30 pm on 17 February and pushed aside her driver. It is reported that the men, keeping the actress hostage in the car, drove around for an hour and half in the city during which they took photos and videos of the actress. The gang dropped her at Palarivattom junction and fled after which the actress drove her car to the home of a film producer who stayed nearby. The actor reported that her former driver was a part of the gang that molested her.
Manorama news also reported that the actress’s driver might be a part of the plot. Police suspect the act was planned in advance by him and his associates. Another man called Sunilkumar, the driver who was previously employed by the actress earlier, is suspected to be the main conspirator and is still absconding.
The actress for a while 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. The 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 the police is doing its job and will certainly arrest those responsible. Lok Sabha member Innocent, President of 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 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.
— Compiled with agency inputs
Note: A previous version of this article had mentioned the actress' identity since early reports indicated a case of kidnapping. However, the article was been amended as charges of assault have been included against the accused.