Shweta Menon’s effigy burnt by Youth Congress workers

Angry Youth Congress workers in Kollam district of Kerala burnt an effigy of the Malayalam actor after hearing reports of police registering a case against MP Peethamabara Kurup for allegedly groping her

Shouting slogans against Shweta Menon, party activists walked through the main road in Kollam and warned that they would continue their protests against her.

“She is one lady who, in a Malayalam film (Kallimannu), allowed scenes of the delivery (of a baby) to be shot,” said a Youth Congress leader while addressing the activists.

“Yes, the police have registered a case, and that is as it should be. I’m happy that the police have taken up a case. Now, I will deal with it in the legal way,” said Kurup, a member of the Lok Sabha, after hearing the news that a case had been registered under Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent of outraging her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code against him.

Earlier on Sunday, the Kollam District Congress Committee rallied in support of Kurup. The actor has alleged that the lawmaker tried to grope her during a boat race in Kollam on Friday, where she was one of the guests of honour. On Saturday, she showed the visuals from TV channels, where the lawmaker was shown getting close to her during the boat race. A team of four police officials from Kollam visited Shweta Menon on Sunday at her residence and recorded her statement of the sequence of the events of Friday.

After about 90 minutes, the team policemen left the house, but refused to divulge any details to waiting reporters. The actor also refused to engage with the media and left for Bangalore with her family. Sources close to the Shweta said she would also meet Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Tuesday, to file an official complaint. “There was a huge crowd, and in a crowded place, some jostling happens. She complained after almost six hours. Nothing of the sort happened, as she claims,” district Congress president Pratapa Varma Thampan said.

Kurup, who was also present at the conference with Thampan, did not speak much. He said he had already had a word with the actor and her husband. “I do not wish to speak much, because the police is investigating the case,” said Kurup.

Meanwhile Ayisha Potti, a CPI-M legislator from the district, registered a complaint with district collector B Mohanan through an SMS. Mohanan has been facing flak, as the actor claimed that she spoke to him immediately after the incident. The official, however, has denied anything about the actor approaching him.

Mohanan responded to the CPI-M legislator’s SMS, and asked the district police chief to make a detailed report of the incident. “Both the chief minister and the home minister have failed to do their duty in taking quick action. Safety of women is a big issue in the state, and they are silent,” said CPI-M politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.

Kurup, meanwhile, is reportedly seeking legal opinion to see if he needs to apply for anticipatory bail.