This molestation incident with Swetha Menon is just another reminder of the fact that at such functions where a celebrity or any of the people are attending, there is hardly any security or respect for personal space, way too many hangers on, too many people pushing about and clinging around the celebs that such incidents are bound to happen and there are assholes who take advantage of these situation as well. The changes are there to be made.
For those who do not know, on Friday Swetha Menon (actress /former model & Ms India contestant / tv anchor) stated that while at a public function in the city of Kollam (Kerala) she was molested by Congress Party member & Kollam’s Member of Parliament N Peethambara Kurup. All weekend we’ve been tuned in to the events that unfolded since then. She complained to the Kollam district collector B Mohanan but says she felt betrayed by him for “ignoring” her grievance when he was informed about it shortly after the incident. It was on the invitation of the Collector that she had attended the function. Mohanan has claimed that he had not received any complaint from her. said she was also harassed by another person during the President’s Trophy boat race in Kochi, who has also been charged. Although Swetha didn’t name the person in question when asked by the press, media footage showed Congress MP N Peethambara Kurup from the area touching her but the lawmaker on Saturday strongly denied having committed such an act.
She, along with her husband Sreevalsan Menon, had told reporters on Saturday night after meeting office bearers of various film industry bodies that she would forward a detailed complaint to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, whom she is likely to meet on Tuesday. Acting on a complaint lodged by Communist Party of India – Marxist’s youth outfit Democratic Youth Federation of India, the police team led by a woman circle inspector went to Kochi Sunday morning to record her statement. The 39-year-old actress told police at her apartment in Kochi that she was insulted by Kurup and another person during the function. Shweta, a two-time state award winner and also a TV anchor, broke down while the statement was being recorded. Earlier in the day, Kurup reiterated that the charge against him was totally untrue and he produced some photographs of the event, claiming that the actress was harassed at the scene by some others. “I am past 70. I have passed the age of getting excited by the presence of women at public functions,” he said.
Finally Kurup was booked by the police, charged under IPC sections 354 and 354 (A) for assault or criminal force against a woman with intent to outrage her modesty. However later on Suday Swetha withdrew all legal proceedings against Congress MP N Peethambara Kurup later in the day. “In the wake of Peetambhara Kurup’s repeated public and personal apology about the incident at the President’s Boat Race at Kollam, I am withdrawing all legal and other actions against him,” Shwetha said in a statement released to select media organizations and to the film fraternity at around 8pm on Sunday. Although Kurup could be arrested anytime, the case against him will fall flat if she gives a written statement saying that she is withdrawing the complaint. Shwetha, who said she had taken her decision not to press with the legal proceedings after consulting her guru, father and husband, also claimed, that there was no outside pressure on her do so. Kollam police said they were not aware of her decision to withdraw the complaint. “Till the victim gives a revised statement to the investigating officer, the case will stand,” an officer with Kollam East Police said.
How will this messy situation end?