MEA revokes Malayalam actor-producer Vijay Babu’s passport
Thiruvananthapuram: The External Affairs Ministry on Friday revoked the passport of actor-cum-producer Vijay Babu, who had slipped out of the country after a Malayalam actor brought in sexual assault charges against him. The Kerala police had earlier requested the Union ministry to cancel the actor’s passport.
Hiding in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for almost a month, the police said that he left the country in a hurry and moved to one of the countries with which India does not have an extradition pact. Police suspect he may have fled to one of the Caribbean islands.
After his passport was revoked, the police pressed for his extradition and anticipating trouble he slipped out of the UAE a couple of days ago. Kochi Police Commissioner Nagaraju Chakkilam said they will approach the Interpol so that it issues a red corner notice against him. “We are monitoring his movements. It will be better for him to surrender and face the law of the land,” the commissioner said. His anticipatory bail in the High Court is expected to come up next week.
The Malayalam actor, a newcomer who made her debut in his film, filed a complaint on April 22, accusing Babu of sexually abusing her several times by promising good roles and forcing her to take narcotics. The actor also alleged that Babu, who is the founder of the production company Friday Film House, threatened to release intimate photos and videos of the actress if she lodged a complaint.
Kochi police soon booked Babu under sections 376 (sexual assault), 323 (causing hurt), and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Later, another case was slapped on him for revealing the identity of the complainant under IPC Section 228A. Following the complaints he slipped out of the country through Mumbai airport and was traced to the UAE.
A few days later in a live Facebook session, Babu denied all charges and threatened to file a defamation case against the complainant. He also claimed he was in Dubai for some work and was not absconding. In the live session, he said he knew the complainant since 2018 and had given her a chance to act in one of his films, adding that they had not been in touch for over a year and she was upset with him for not giving her substantial roles in other films.
Babu, 45, has produced seven films and acted in eight movies over more than a decade. His Sufium Sujathayum was the first Malayalam film to be released on an OTT platform. Another fellow actor Dileep is facing trial in an abduction and assault case filed against him by a leading woman actor from south India in 2017.