Five days after a case was registered against actor Vinayakan for allegedly harassing a woman, he walked into the Kalpetta police station in Wayanad on Thursday to surrender. A few hours after he was arrested and his statement was recorded, the actor was granted bail.
On June 3, activist Mruduladevi Sasidharan took to Facebook to recall the verbal sexual abuse she allegedly faced from Vinayakan over the phone. After many social media users accused her of falsely implicating the actor, she filed a complaint at the Kalpetta police station. The police then registered a case against Vinayakan on June 15.
On Thursday, Vinayakan reached the police station with his lawyer. The police then registered the arrest and took his statement.
Speaking to TNM, an official at the Kalpetta police station said that the arrest was registered under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections of 294 (b) (Sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place), 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and section 120 (o) (causing, through any means of communication, a nuisance of himself to any person by repeated or undesirable or anonymous call, letter, writing, message, e-mail or through a messenger) of Kerala Police Act, 2011.
Vinayakan, in his statement to the police, claimed that before he spoke to Mridula, a man spoke to him over the phone, after which she called from the man’s phone, said the police.
In an interview to an online media platform, Vinayakan reiterated this. “A man had called me to invite me to a programme. I politely declined his invite. I didn’t say that I have a problem with him. I kept refusing the invite. But then he spoke to me as if it was my responsibility to come for the event. If somebody spoke to you that way, won’t there be a problem?” Vinayakan asked Keyboard Journal.
He also said that it was the man who had behaved badly with him at first. “Then the woman called, although I don’t know her. She called to talk to me about the issue I had with the man,” said Vinayakan.
Coincidentally, the complainant was also present at the station when Vinayakan’s arrest was being recorded. “She had come to the police station to submit her phone as evidence in the case. This will be submitted to the court,” the police official said.
In her Facebook post, Mrudula opened up about the telephonic exchange between the two in April 2018 when Vinayakan had allegedly harassed her. “I had respect for Vinayakan who stood with the woman actor (who was assaulted in a moving car in February 2017). But I have experienced his anti-woman attitude in real life. I have no respect for Vinayakan who asked if I would sleep with him and said that he wants my mother, too, when I called to invite him for a programme. I have kept the call recording,” she wrote.
In the same post, Mrudula also expressed her support to the actor who was being attacked online at the time for his anti-BJP stance in an interview. The comments, believed to be from right-wing supporters, were mostly casteist and racist in nature.