The young woman who levelled rape charges against filmmaker Liju Krishna has demanded that his name be removed from the credit line of his debut film Padavettu with Nivin Pauly in the lead, which is set for release next month. Mr. Krishna was arrested from the sets of the movie early in March this year after the woman had levelled the allegations against him through social media.
The survivor, who has been under for treatment for depression and chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)-related issues for the past few months, told The Hindu over phone that the fact that the accused is getting celebrated for his debut film while she is still struggling to recover from the trauma is causing her unimaginable pain.
"The accused got bail in 22 days. Using all his privileges, he managed to complete the remainder of the film, which is now being released by hiding the fact that it is directed by a person accused of sexual abuse. At the same time, my life has been limited to this hospital room. I cannot have food, move about or do my daily activities without another person's help. Hardly anyone even thinks about the survivor's plight in such cases. The society has to answer whether it has any space and support for the survivors. Removing the name of the accused from the credit line is the least that can be done for the survivor, especially when the film is getting released even before the trial," said the survivor.
Soon after Mr. Krishna’s arrest, the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) had demanded that his membership in all film bodies should be suspended until there is a verdict and that he be also barred from working in the Malayalam film industry until that. Later, the Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) had cancelled his membership. However, the survivor said this action did not have any effect as he went back to completing his film and sharing celebratory clips from the sets in social media, all of which added to her trauma.
"The film did not have any Internal Committee. For a considerable period after the incidents, the accused and his supporters tried to prevent me from speaking out and tried to portray it as consensual. They tried to oppress me in various ways. The attempts to shut me up stopped only after the FIR was filed. Although I tried to reach out to many of the people associated with the film, hardly any of them responded. It was a group of friends who stood with me and have been supporting me for the treatment. I am still undergoing the trauma of what happened. I do not know how much more time it would take for me to heal. It is traumatic for a victim to see the abuser being celebrated like this," she said.