Controversy
Activist Deepa Nisanth wrote on FB that she could not share a stage with actor Urmila Unni, who had asserted that Dileep be brought back to AMMA’s fold.
Deepa Nishanth (left); Urmila Unni (right)

Association of Malayalam Movie Artists's (AMMA) hasty decision to 'offer' a welcome back to actor Dileep, who is accused of masterminding the abduction and sexial assault of a leading woman actor, has attracted severe criticism from several quarters.

Dileep was welcomed back to the body on Sunday, after a new set of actors took major positions of the body -- here, Mohanlal was named President of AMMA. The decision to reinstate Dileep was taken after yesteryear actor Urmila Unni asserted that he should be brought back into the fold.

Now, social activist Deepa Nisanth has said that she will not take part in an event in which Urmila Unni is scheduled to participate in.

Taking to Facebook, Deepa - who is known for expressing her strong opinions in various social issues - said that she will stay away from the Vaikkom Muhammad Basheer Award ceremony to be held in Kozhikode on July 1.

"I honor and respect the recognition, instituted in the name of a great man. But I am staying away from the event, because of actor Urmila Unni's participation. There won't be any problem if I do not take part in the event. But then if I do, the problem will solely be mine," Deepa wrote in Malayalam.

"This is my way of protesting against people who belittle women's struggles and safety issues. At a discussion on the safety issues related to women traveling at night, I have heard Urmila Unni say that she has faced no such problem, and therefore, such a problem does not exist at all in the state. I do not expect much from people who think like this. I do not have anything to say to such people who enjoy their privilege and think that others, too, enjoy the same privileges as them," Deepa added.

She wrote that she was not only with the survivor, but that she also knows that such a crime could happen to her too. According to her, she cannot take Urmila Unni’s question of what AMMA’s decision on the suspended member was.

Saying that she could not change everyone, Deepa asserted that this was her way of marking her protest.

Meanwhile, writer Vaikkom Muhammad Basheer's daughter Shahina Basheer has also refused to take part in the event, citing Urmila Unni's participation. While Shahina is understood to have shared her concerns with the organisers, it is reliably learnt that the organisers refused to address the concern citing that the actor was invited way before the recent controversy broke out. 

AMMA’s decision to reinstate Dileep attracted widespread ire from the public, the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), as well as political bodies. Protests were carried out outside actor Mohanlal's house in Kochi on Friday.