Kerala

Police to summon director on Manju’s complaint

The police investigation into actor Manju Warrier’s complaint that her estranged business partner and film director Sreekumar Menon had threatened to cause her personal and financial harm gathered momentum on Monday.

Senior officials here said the Thrissur police were poised to summon Mr. Menon for questioning soon, amidst unconfirmed reports that the director had sought legal recourse to stave off possible arrest.

Last week, the Thrissur police had registered a case against Mr. Menon based on Ms. Warrier’s petition. The charges against him include cyber stalking, orchestrating a social smear to defame the actor and threatening to harm Ms. Warrier physically and financially.

Investigators had recorded Ms. Warrier’s statement in detail on Saturday. The actor has reportedly submitted “evidence” about attempts to target her after she fell out with Mr. Menon following a business dispute.

The “proof” included voice clippings of purported telephone calls between the two, saved screenshots of “incriminating” messages and evidence of taunting and defamatory comments on social media accounts of persons deemed close to Mr. Menon. The police have sought cyber forensic expertise to help the probe.

The charges against Mr. Menon include outraging the modesty of a woman and other offences under the IT Act, which entail a maximum punishment of up to five years of imprisonment and fine.

The case has riveted public attention since Ms. Warrier met State Police Chief Loknath Behera last week and said she feared for her life and financial security.

The accusations had assumed a measure of urgency for the government given the intense social focus on the safety of women in the Malayalam film industry since the kidnapping and rape of a female actor by an underworld linked group of movie set hangers-on recruited allegedly by a top actor to settle his personal scores with her in Kochi in 2017.

Mr. Menon has denied the allegations vehemently and promised to cooperate with the probe.


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Printable version | Jul 23, 2021 4:09:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/police-to-summon-director-on-manjus-complaint/article29814970.ece

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