Malayalam News

Behindwoods Ice Pulls Down Thief Maniyan Pillai Interview about Sexually Assaulting a Woman

Behindwoods Ice, the Malayalam YouTube channel, after facing harsh criticism over a problematic interview with former thief Maniayan Pillai, who spoke about sexually assaulting a woman, has taken down the video in question.


The channel put out a statement noting that it was a ‘mistake’ and they acknowledge it by removing the content.

Pilla is a petty thief who rose to fame with his biography titled Thaskaran Maniyan Pillayude Athmakatha, written by GR Indugopan and published by DC Books. 

According to clips of the removed interview shared on various other YouTube channels, the Behindwoods Ice’s interviewer had asked triggering and explicit questions about Pillai’s sexual temptations when he saw women in houses that he had sneaked into to rob at night.

In response, Pillai spoke about encountering a 22-year-old woman during the course of a robbery and confessed to sexually assaulting her at knifepoint. 

The interviewer, to the shock of viewers, went on to make light of the matter and even romanticised it by asking Pillai if he ever tried to meet that woman again.

Both the interviewer and the interviewee faced flak for the insensitive discussion from the public on Twitter and YouTube

Maniyan Pillai’s biography has also drawn criticisms for justifying his crimes and giving them a heroic angle, The News Minute reported. In it, Pillai claims he escaped to Karnataka after a massive robbery in Kerala, and settled there with all the money he robbed. Later, in the 1980s, he decided to contest in the assembly elections using a fake name and filed his nomination. However, he was arrested.

The TNM report also notes that the Kerala State Women’s Commission has taken a suo moto cognition of Pillai’s interview on Behindwoods Ice. The commission’s chairperson Sathidevi has said that Pillai should be investigated for rape. The commission has also asked the police to file a case under the Information Technology Act against the YouTube channel.


On Wednesday, in response to the criticism, the episode’s anchor put out an explanation video on the company’s YouTube channel. In it, he said in Malayalam, “When Maniyan Pillai spoke about raping a woman, I did not continue the interview in an interrogative style as it had been a long time since the incident. I listened to it as a story. During the time of the interview and even while editing, I did not realise the seriousness of the issue. I admit that this was a mistake. In acknowledgement of our error, Behindwoods has decided to delete the video. We have also decided not to release further parts of the interview.”

The anchor also mentioned that Pillai had earlier spoken about the incident on many platforms and has always emphasised that what he did was a mistake and no one should copy it. “Even in the introduction of this video, he spoke about feeling guilty about what he did and I too added that it is not something to be copied or repeated.”

Adding that Behindwoods does not endorse what Pillai said, the anchor said the video’s intention was not to glorify thieving or violence against women.