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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

Malayalam actor abducted, molested in moving car: Two more suspects held

Two more people were arrested in connected with the abduction, molestation of a popular Malayalam film actor, Kerala Police said on Sunday.

regional-movies Updated: Mar 30, 2017 18:26 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
The actor (face blurred) has appeared in more than 100 films in her career
The actor (face blurred) has appeared in more than 100 films in her career(ANI Photo)

Kerala police arrested two men in neighboring Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore on Sunday for the abduction and molestation of a leading Malayalam actor, an incident that triggered outrage equally among the public, film fraternity and political parties.

An intensive hunt has been launched to capture main suspect Sunil Kumar alias Pulsar Suni, a former driver of the actor. Lookout notices are issued in airports and railway stations.

“We have definite leads about the remaining five,” inspector general of police Dinesh Kashyap said.

The popular actor was allegedly taken hostage on the way from Thrissur to Kochi on Friday and molested for by a five-member gang. The criminals took pictures and videos to blackmail her before letting her go.

The 30-year-old actor, who had worked in more than 75 movies in several southern languages since debuting as a teenager, was returning home from a film shoot.

The actor said in her statement to police that her car was hit by a van somewhere in Athani. When her driver, Martin, stopped to check the damage, the gangsters boarded her car and took off.

Read | Malayalam actress molestation case: Police says took best foot forward; probe on

After nearly two hours of drive through Kochi city, they left the actor in her car at Palarivattam. A while later, she pulled herself up and alerted a movie director, who called police.

Officers arrested Martin, who was allegedly driving the actor’s car, on Saturday. After examining his mobile phone call log, they found he was in constant touch with Suni, the lynchpin.

The actor’s driver is suspected to have followed her car in the gangsters’ van.

Police suspect the gang of having assaulted women in a similar way in the past, and blackmailed them.

Leading film producer Suresh Kumar said his wife Maneka, a yesteryear actor, had a similar experience five years ago in Kochi when prime suspect Suni, a known driver among the film fraternity, chased her car for some time. “I did complain, but nothing happened,” Kumar said.

Suni had worked for actor-turned politician Mukesh, too.

Mukesh, now a CPM legislator, said the driver was his driver for a while, but he couldn’t fathom that he had such a “criminal mind”.

Malayalam stars Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi and Prithviraj led the film fraternity’s support to the traumatised actor. “We need action now,” Mohanlal said.

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan promised on Saturday to bring the culprits to book.

The ruling CPM and the CPI described the case as an “isolated incident”, prompting the opposition Congress and BJP to accuse the Left Democratic Front coalition government of failing to ensure women’s safety.

First Published: Feb 19, 2017 13:22 IST

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