In a twist to the Malayalam actress molestation case, prime accused Sunil Kumar surrendered in Ernakulam on Thursday. Kumar, who used to be the actress' former driver, along with another accused came to the magistrate's room in Ernakulam to surrender bringing relief to the Kerala police who have faced a lot of criticism for this case in the past few days. Kumar had been in hiding since 19 February.
Kerala Police chief Loknath Behra told the media that Sunil and an accomplice had been taken into custody but refused to provide details. "I will not make any comment on that," said Behra, referring to reports that the accused were nabbed from a court. "I have said before also that investigation is not a magic wand. Sometimes it takes time to get the accused and we did our best and now we have them," he added.
According to The Financial Express, the surrender marks a big breakthrough in the case. Earlier, Kumar had reportedly called up his legal counsel on the night of the crime, met him the next day to file the vakalath and then driven to his home in Ambalapuzha, where the cops had almost caught him but he escaped. Kumar had filed an anticipatory bail plea before the Kerala High Court which was deferred to 3 March. However, his legal counsel said that they had documents that will prove his innocence and so Kumar should cooperate with the law.
On Wednesday, Kerala police had made Kumar's sister call him up and request him to surrender. The move was criticised by media as a 'drama’ that was concocted by the police to deceive the people. Political leaders in Congress and BJP had also mocked Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan about this, alleging that Pulsar Sunil enjoyed protection from the ruling party and that is why the cops are unable to nab him so far.
According to The Indian Express, the actress, who was travelling in her car on the night of 17 February from Thrissur to Kochi, was abducted by a gang allegedly led by Sunil. After taking photos and videos, the men dropped the actress near a film producer's home. Martin, the man who was driving the actress’s car, was the first to be arrested.
Actress Varalaxmi Sarathkumar had come out in support of the victim posted an extensive message on her social media account on 20 February in which she spoke of her experience where a producer had made a pass at her captioning the post, "Needs to be said." The actress also said that this kind of harassment was faced by women across the board — no matter which industry they worked in, or which socioeconomic strata they belonged to.
As reported in an earlier Firstpost article, while the police probing the incident say that the 30-year-old actor was abducted by a seven-member gang based at Kochi for the purpose of extorting money, many in the industry felt that there could be more to it than meets the eye.
With inputs from IANS
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Updated Date: Feb 23, 2017 15:03:00 IST