A leading Malayalam actress was allegedly sexually harassed for two hours by a gang of men on Friday night, who forced their way into her car before fleeing.
The actress, who has acted in many South Indian languages in leading roles, was returning from Thrissur to Kochi in Kerala state following the shooting of a film.
The state police have arrested three suspects, including her driver, following the incident. Two of them were arrested from Coimbatore city, in neighboring Tamil Nadu state.
Police are on the lookout for four others, including the gang leader Pulsar Suni, who is a known criminal.
A car hit her vehicle from behind, following which an argument erupted over the accident. The passengers of the other car are reported to have forcefully entered her car and driven off with the actress.
As more details emerged in the media, the main accused Pulsar Suni, and Martin, the driver of the actress, had hatched a conspiracy to blackmail her after taking her nude photographs.
Meanwhile, the actress has received strong support from all sections of society for reporting the incident before the authorities.
Police chief Loknath Behra on Saturday claimed that they have identified those behind the “kidnap” of the actress and it is a matter of time before the entire gang is arrested.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who is also in charge of the Home Department, reacting to media persons said in New Delhi that the incident was unfortunate and that police action will follow, while reassuring the public that the law and order in the state has not worsened.
Parliament member Innocent, who is also the President of Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (Amma), told reporters here that he has spoken to the Chief Minister about the incident.
“If this is the plight of a celebrity, what can one say about ordinary people. This is really shocking,” said Leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala, who was the former Home Minister.