Three men have been arrested in Kerala amid massive anger over the assault on a film star in a moving car. Top South film actors and others have taken to social media to express their horror and to demand immediate action by the government and police. The actor’s driver has been arrested for allegedly planning the attack along with a former driver, Pulser Sunil, who has worked for many others in the film industry. The search is on for four more men. On Sunday, film stars gathered for a protest meet in Kochi.
On Friday night, the 30-year-old actor’s SUV was rear-ended by another car while she was on her way to Kochi after a shoot in Thrissur. Pulsar Sunil and a few more men allegedly forced themselves into the car. The actor has alleged that she was molested and driven around for over two hours before she was thrown off the car near Kochi. The attackers allegedly took her photos and videos too.
The actor’s former and current drivers planned the incident, the police say.
The actor somehow reached the home of a director, who informed the police. “She was scared and unnerved. I called the police chief after discussing with the actress and he made all the necessary arrangements of having her statement recorded,” the director told NDTV.
Main accused Pulsar Sunil’s last call has been traced to a prominent producer. Describing the men as “worse than animals” in a Facebook post, top southern star Mohanlal said, “It’s time we stop being candle-holding and candle-lighting sympathisers. Such acts should not only be condemned vehemently, but exemplary punishment should be handed out.”
Addressing Sunday’s protest, Superstar Mammootty stressed that “she has the support of several people who love her, be it the common people, film fraternity, police and government. She has my word that I am with her. She must stand strong.”
Film star Dulquer Salmaan said he felt “sickened and frightened” to his core and his pride about women being treated with respect was shattered. In his post on Facebook, he said, “This is somebody’s daughter, somebody’s sister… who has brought to life so many wonderful characters to us film lovers.”
Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, a leader of the state’s ruling CPM has been criticised by opposition parties for describing the incident as an “isolated” one.