Kidnapped Kerala actress, family under duress, says BJP

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 26 (IANS) The family members of the Malayalam actress who was kidnapped are under tremendous pressure from some quarters, a senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader from Kerala said on Sunday.

Talking to reporters here, former Kerala unit President of the BJP President V. Muraleedharan said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan knows precisely the “hands” behind the incident.

Muraleedharan said he met the actress and her family.

He said if one were to relate statements of Vijayan, who said it was the work of prime accused Pulsar Sunil and five others, there is some mystery behind it.

“Vijayan was in a hurry to announce this was the work of the prime accused only. The CPI-M backed Kairali TV channel aired a news item portraying the victim in poor light and you should remember that the chief of the channel, John Britas, is also the media advisor to Vijayan,” Muraleedharan said.

“The Association of Malayalam Movie Artists is now trying to play things down,” the BJP leader said.

“It was a leading film personality (Bhagyalekshmi) yesterday (Saturday) who said the actress’ mother is unhappy with the way the case is progressing but soon after that, her brother denied it,” Muraleedharan said.

“Yesterday (Saturday), the actress was supposed to meet the media but she was asked by police not to speak to the media. We demand that either a central agency or a court-monitored probe should take place for the truth to prevail,” he added.

With Vijayan announcing that Pulsar Sunil was behind the actress’s abduction, the police would not be able to go forward, he said.

On Saturday, the BJP and Congress strongly condemned Vijayan’s controversial statement, which forced the Chief Minister to retract it.

“I made the statement based on a newspaper report I read while taking part in a meeting. The report mentioned the prime accused is behind the episode and there was no conspiracy. I said the media should find out the conspiracy and police are currently doing their job,” Vijayan told reporters here on Sunday.

Kerala Congress President V.M. Sudheeran said Vijayan is playing hide-and-seek and “this can be made out from his weak defence after his Saturday’s statement turned out to be controversial”.

Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said while Vijayan says there is no conspiracy, the police state that there is.

“The need of the hour is a court-monitored probe,” he said.

The police have arrested all the six persons associated with the actress’ abduction on February 17, when she was taken around Kochi in a vehicle for two hours and later let off.

–IANS

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