KOCHI: In the wake of the sexual assault on a popular actor the other day, the underworld links of Malayalam film industry have come under the scanner.
The burning question is why people with criminal antecedents are allowed to get close to film stars and work for them.
The police team probing the incident has gathered crucial evidence, including details of the phone calls made by certain prominent persons in the film industry to key accused Suni, after the incident. However, the police did not divulge names of the persons who contacted the accused.
Writer N S Madhavan has openly criticised the underworld connections of Malayalam cinema. On the unholy nexus between the underworld and the film industry, director Vinayan said, “Sunil Kumar, the prime accused in the case, was earlier booked for a similar crime. Producer Suresh Kumar had narrated an incident wherein he had to ‘rescue’ his wife from Sunil. How a person with such background worked as driver of actor Mukesh for three years? Why was he allowed to associate with the industry for such as long time?” he asked.
According to the police, Sunil alias Pulsar Suni hatched the plot to abduct the actor while working in the production unit of a Malayalam film in Goa, along with her, one month ago.
“In Goa, Suni developed an affection for the actor, but hatched a plan to blackmail her after taking her photographs in compromising positions. He was planning to extort `30 lakh from her,” said an officer who is part of the probe team. Martin, the actor’s driver who has been taken into custody, told the police Suni had offered him a part of the ransom if he cooperated with the abduction plan.
MACTA Federation general secretary Baiju Kottarakkara said Suni was a seasoned criminal.
“This is not an isolated case. The production controllers who have been in touch with Suni should be interrogated,” he said, and alleged the film industry had become home for criminals and drug addicts. “No actor should face such an ordeal, and stringent action should be taken against the accused. The FEFKA should stop giving membership to everyone who pays the fees, without checking their background,” he alleged.