Filmmaker and actor Revathy, actors Rima Kallingal and Remya Nambeesan took to social media expressing solidarity with their colleague and survivor of sexual assault using the hashtag ‘avalkoppam’ (with her). The statements came a day after two actors in the Malayalam film industry changed their statements before the court.
On Thursday, Malayalam actors Sidhique and Bhamaa had deposed before the special court in Kochi, in the case pertaining to the 2017 abduction and sexual assault of a Malayalam actor in a moving van. Malayalam actor Dileep, has been accused of masterminding the attack and is the eighth accused in the case.
It is learnt that Bhamaa and Sidhique did not stick to their initial statements given to the police. Earlier two other actors, Edavela Babu and Bindhu Panicker, had turned hostile in the case.
All three actors, who are also members of the Women in Cinema Collective, wrote that they were taken aback that members from the film industry were turning against their own.
Filmmaker and actor Revathy expressed her shock to have learnt that actor Bhamaa, who is a friend of the survivor actor, changed her statement in court.
It’s sad that we can’t trust our own colleagues in the film industry. So many years of work, so many projects, but when...Posted by Revathy Asha Kelunni on Friday, September 18, 2020
“In the famous but not spoken much about these days, the actress assault case of 2017, Edavela Babu and Bindu Panniker pulled back on their own statements in court, we could not have expected much from them. And now it's Mr Siddique and Bhamaa. I suppose one can understand why Mr Siddique did it, but Bhamaa? Having been a friend and confidant she too denies what she told the cops soon after the incident,” wrote Revathy.
She further said that those who are really with the survivor, will always be ‘with’ her. “The survivor has been going through such tough times. Why is it that no one thinks about what goes on in a survivor’s life and family for having filed a complaint?” she added.
Calling the incident shameful, actor Rima Kallingal said that it is deeply hurtful to see colleagues who stood by the survivor actor, to have turned away, when their help was the most needed.
Shame. Deeply hurt that colleagues who stood by the survivor have turned hostile in the last minute when she needed...Posted by Rima Kallingal on Friday, September 18, 2020
“As much as we know that the women who have turned hostile are also victims in some sense who have no place in the power equation of this industry, even then, it hurts the most. Have been reading that 4 of them have changed their statement. Edavela Babu, Bindu Panikkar, Sidhique, Bhama. And still counting. If this is true it’s such a shame,” wrote Rima on Facebook.
Actor Remya Nambeeshan also expressed her disappointment on the incident.
“When someone you thought is fighting along with you suddenly changes colour, it hurts. Deeply. I have heard about witnesses turning hostile in cases but when the survivor is your own how can you betray her? The fight is real and ultimately truth will triumph. For both the survivor and women at large, this fight will go on. #Avalkoppam,” she said.
Meanwhile, the survivor actor was also seen sharing an emotional post on social media, though she did not make any direct references to the case.
“You will never understand the damage you did to someone until the same thing is done to you. That’s why I’m here -- Karma,” reads the post.
Meanwhile, the trial court on Friday decided to hear the prosecution’s plea to cancel Dileep's bail on Monday. The plea was filed by the prosecution alleging that Dileep tried to influence a witness in the case.
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