Popular Malayalam actress kidnapped, molested in moving car for a few hours
In a shocking incident, a popular actress was allegedly kidnapped and then molested for a few hours in a moving car in Kerala’s Kochi town by a five-man gang who also reportedly took pictures and videos of hers before releasing her.
According to media reports, Kochi police have already arrested Martin, the driver of the Malayalam actress, on charges of kidnapping and molesting her.
Preliminary investigations revealed that Martin, who had been with the actor for the last couple of years, had been part of a conspiracy to kidnap her.
The actress was sexually harassed for two hours allegedly by the five men, who forced their way into her car before fleeing at a busy area.
Kerala DGP Loknath Behera has constituted a joint investigation team comprising police personnel from Kochi city and Ernakulam rural to probe one of the sensational cases, following widespread condemnation of the incident.
"We know who are behind this, and we will very quickly arrest all of them and get to the bottom of the truth," said Behra.
The Nedumbassery police have registered a case under sections of kidnapping and molestation.
The actress in her complaint to police stated that last night her car was hit from the rear by a vehicle.
The men, suspected to be five in number, forcefully entered her car and took control of it before proceeding to Kochi.
The actress' driver is suspected to have followed her car in the vehicle used by the gang members.
The hugely popular actress on Friday night after a shoot was on way from Thrissur to Kochi to take part in the dubbing of her new film directed by director-cum-actor Lal.
The gang behind the incident is from the film industry and involved in doing various production jobs, police said. Bhavana was held hostage for two hours. According to reports, the gang took pictures of the actress that they planned to use to blackmail her for money.
The police, after tracing the call list, zeroed down on the actress' former driver who was thrown out after she came to know of his criminal background. He is believed to be the main culprit.
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.
During the drive, the men harassed her, by clicking her pictures and making a video, she said in her complaint. After nearly two hours of drive through the Kochi city area, they left the actress in the car in Palarivattam and fled the scene.
She was later taken to the house of film director Lal in Thrikkakara by her driver.
Lal, who is also a noted film actor, confirmed that the incident had happened.
He, however, said he could not divulge more details as it would affect the investigation.
Police suspect that blackmailing was the motive behind the crime.
The incident has become a political issue with the BJP and the Congress strongly condemning "increasing incidents of attacks against women" in the state under CPI(M)-led LDF rule. State BJP Chief Kummanam Rajasekharan said such incidents were on a rise in the state under the CPI(M) rule and it proves that Pinarayi Vijayan was a "failure" as Chief Minister.
Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala, also expressed concern over the deteriorating law and order situation in the state and demanded tough action against the criminals targeting women.
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.
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan
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.
The 30-year-old actress, who made her debut as a 16-year-old, has acted in more than 75 films in several languages including Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu.
(With Agency Inputs)