Sunday, November 3 2013:
Kollam: Police in Kerala’s Kollam district have registered a First Information Report or FIR against Congress MP N Peethambara Kurup who is accused of molesting actress Shweta Menon at a function on Friday.
Ms Menon, in her police complaint, has claimed that she was misbehaved with physically at a boat race on November 1 in Kollam. Sources said the 39-year-old actress has also named another Congressman in her complaint.
“I was very proud and I came from Bombay for this event. But when I reached there personally, as a woman I was degraded, I was let down. I felt there was no security given to me, and too much of physical touchings happened,” Ms Menon said.
The case filed against Mr Kurup includes the non-bailable Section 354 which relates to the outraging of the modesty of a woman. Media footage from the event also shows Mr Kurup touching her inappropriately.
The incident outraged the Malayalam film fraternity and women outfits, which demanded stern action against the politician, forcing Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to speak to a senior district official at Kollam.
The 73-year-old lawmaker has denied the allegation, saying, “By any means, looks or touch if she has felt anything wrong in any ways… Am not a person who will commit any such action as an MP. We have called her and asked for apologies if ever she felt any disrespectful action from any one of our community members.”
The Congress lawmaker from Kollam has also released photographs of a man in white clothes who, he claims, was standing behind Ms Menon during the ceremony. The man has not been identified yet.
On November 1, actor Swetha Menon attended the President’s Trophy Boat Race at Kollam. She looked happy during the function and even addressed the gathering.
Some hours later, she accused a prominent politician of molesting her in public during the function. Swetha claimed that she didn’t say anything then because she wanted the boat race to go on peacefully.
Initially she refused to speak to the media or name the concerned politician. The visuals from the event revealed that it was Kollam Member of Parliament, P N Peethambara Kurup.
There were TV visuals of him interacting a bit too closely with her. Eventually, Swetha did give Kurup’s name to the police.
With the incident getting the usual sensational media coverage, Swetha decided to withdraw her complaint on the advice of her father and her guru. She said that Kurup’s apology was enough for her to withdraw the complaint.
Kurup made it clear that he had apologised as the organiser of the event and not on his own behalf.
There are strong rumours that Swetha was threatened into withdrawing her complaint– a possible income tax raid was suggested. Some Congress leaders made this statement in public as well
Congress MP N Peethambara Kurup, embroiled in controversy over alleged molestation of Malayalam cine actress Shweta Menon at a function here last evening, on Saturday strongly denied having committed such an act.
“It is totally untrue. I am telling this since my name has come up in a section of the media in connection with the incident,” 73-year-old Kurup, representing Kollam in the Lok Sabha, told the media.
Shweta had on Friday complained, without naming her tormentor, that she was physically humilated at the venue of the President’s Trophy boat race function here last evening.
Media footage showed Kurup touching her after which the MP issued the statement.
The MP on Saturday said it was extremely painful that his name had been dragged into the unfortunate incident and that he was confident of proving his innocence with the backing of strong proof.
“For the time being it needs to be seen only as a politically motivated move when elections are approaching. It is painful that any kind of malicious attack could be unleashed against me just because I am a politician,” he said.
The incident sparked strong protests from the Malayalam film fraternity and women’s oufits who demanded strong action in the incident.
Police are yet to register a case in connection with the incident, based either on the complaint the actress claimed to have orally made to the District Collector or by taking note of media reports.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters at Kottayam that he had not received any complaint from the actor so far on the incident.
“If we get a complaint, after investigation appropriate action will be taken,.” he said.