The Kerala police on Sunday arrested two men accused of harassing a female Malayalam actor at a mall in Kochi last week. The actor had shared the incident on social media on December 17, and wrote that the two men had inappropriately touched her at Kochi’s Lulu Mall. The incident was shared widely on media, following which the Kerala Women’s Commission took up the case suo moto.
Speaking to Silverscreen India, Ashraf A, the station house officer of Kalamssery Police Station, said, “The two accused were arrested yesterday near Aluva in Kochi around 9 pm. They were produced before the court and have been remanded to 14 days of judicial custody. We found that they had come to Kochi, reportedly to apologise to the actor and her family and gain their sympathy.”
The two accused had grazed the actor’s back in a “not so accidental” manner while walking past her in a “generously spaced aisle” at the mall, the actor wrote on social media. The accused, who had been absconding after the police took up the case, told the media on Sunday that they were innocent but willing to apologise. In response to the duo’s willingness to apologise, the actor wrote on social media that she was willing to accept their apologies.
“I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the police and media who acted with immediate effect. I would also like to thank my family, friends and everyone who reached out to me with kind words of support. Your words gave me and my family strength through this and I’m acknowledging that there are two other families going through a tough time as well. To all the people who shared their personal experiences with me I empathise with you and I hope you find strength,” she wrote.
Sharing the incident on social media last week, the actor had written, “I wanted to give them the benefit of a doubt but you know when something is just not right, you feel it.” She explained that she was blank as she was processing what had happened and when she did try approaching them, they ignored her.
The two men had later followed the actor and her sister as they joined their mother and brother at another aisle. “These men came to us again and this time that guy had the audacity to talk to me and my sister. Trying to get closer as he spoke. He wanted to know the names of the movies I have been a part of,” she wrote. However, the actor’s sister ignored them and the two soon left after the actor’s mother approached them.
The police took suo moto cognisance of the crime and began an investigation after the actor shared the incident on social media. Upon checking the CCTV footage from the mall, the police confirmed that the two had inappropriately touched the actor. The police also released visuals of the two on December 19.