Shameful crime

By Balakumar K Published on Feb 23, 2017 05:06 PM IST

The abduction of a popular Malayalam actress on Friday last in Kerala by a car-borne gang that gagged and molested her

for over an hour was heinous and disturbing at many levels. That it was some what akin to some scenes in the Hindi movie ‘Pink’, where a similar kidnap and rape drama was played out, adds to the trauma and morbidity.

While there is widespread outrage in fi lm circles of Malayalam and also Kollywood, the abduction mastermind is believed to be an actor-colleague who paid the gang handsomely to take some kind of revenge on the abducted actress.

The alleged main perpetrator, ‘Pulsar’ Sunil, who was briefl y a driver with the actress, is still at large though the other suspects have been nabbed.

Reports in the media that the sons of a Kerala politician may have played a part in the abduction have once again highlighted that the wards of politicians are often spoilt brats because of the atmosphere in which they call the shots in Indian society and function as extra-constitutional authorities.

Reports say the actress was heading home to Kochi in her vehicle from a shooting location in Thrissur when she was waylaid by the gang who forced their way into the car, threatened her that they would inject her with drugs and drove around with her for more than an hour, threatening her all the while.

When the actress finally managed to escape, she reached the home of a film director and called the police. The police feel her present driver and a former one were part of the group that abducted and molested her. Though a section of the

media has blamed it on a rival actor, there is no knowing why the actress was abducted and whether she was sexually assaulted.

There is need for a thorough investigation in which no bigwig should be spared—be it the politician’s sons or the actor-abductor or anyone else. Such incidents have a tendency to recur, especially if effective deterrents are not created and enforced meticulously.

Vested interests often play havoc in such cases and it is incumbent on the State machinery to ensure that justice is delivered and due processes are followed.

If there is lack of deterrence in law, it needs to be tackled by sharpening the law. Much is at stake here because women need to be freed from fear and harassment. The Kerala incident should indeed make the male chauvinists hang their heads in shame.