If the prime accused in the case was a habitual offender, how then did he manage to survive in the film industry?

Malayalam actor abduction Accused with criminal records was driver for other actors tooPrime accused Sunil
news Crime Sunday, February 19, 2017 - 16:17

The abduction and alleged rape of a prominent Malayalam actor in a moving car in Kerala has sent shock waves across the state. Of the seven accused in the case, the police have managed to nab three of them so far.

What seems to be as unnerving as the crime itself, is the fact that the prime accused Sunil Kumar alias Pulsar Suni (who is yet to be arrested) is a criminal, with several cases filed against him even in the past. On Sunday, the investigating team said that they arrested two others in the case from Coimbatore. Sunil was the actor's former driver and has engineered the abduction, according to the police.

According to local media reports, Vadival Salim and Pradeep- who belong to a quotation gang- are the two other persons arrested and the duo is reported to have a long criminal record.

Soon after Sunil was named as the prime accused in the case and his background was being prodded, Malayalam film producer Suresh Kumar came up with a startling revelation. That his wife and yesteryear actor Menaka too, had to undergo a harrowing experience at the hands of Pulsar Suni a few years ago.

Claiming that the driver had chased Maneka's vehicle for some time in Kochi, Suresh maintained that "nothing happened" though he raised a complaint then.

Ernakulam Rural SP confirmed that Sunil had cases of robbery and snatching against him. He told TNM that the police were collecting all details.  Another investigating officer said that the driver also had cases against him for petty fights and got the nickname 'Pulsar' because of penchant to steal motorbikes.

If the prime accused in the case was a habitual offender, how then did he manage to survive in the film industry?

Actor and Kollam MLA Mukesh claims that the busy schedule of actors hardly gives them time to run a background check on their drivers. Speaking to The News Minute over phone, Mukesh said that Pulsar Suni used to his driver a few years back. The actor, however, maintained that he knew nothing about Suni's criminal records.

"He worked for me about three years back and not for long...just for a few months. He used to be this well-behaved person, which made it difficult to understand his true colour. So are other criminals, you see. They manage to put up a good face even when they are criminals," Mukesh said.

What makes it possible for criminals like Pulsar Suni to survive in the film industry for so long, despite his "criminal streak" surfacing every now and then? Mukesh chose to pin it on the busy schedule of the actors.

"Often, we hire drivers on a trip basis, and there's not enough time to do a background check on them. But now, the DGP has assured that there are provisions in law to give security to female actors if they have to travel alone," Mukesh says.

Despite repeated prodding, Mukesh maintained that he did not sack Suni after learning about his criminal deeds.

"A few days after I hired him, Suni approached me saying that he wanted permission to continue driving a bus when I was busy with shoots. I agreed. But then whenever I used to call him for a trip, he would drive the car like he drives a bus, which irked me. I then hired a different person. After that, he once called me on phone and was a little upset about it, there has been no communication post that. I have never worked with this actor, and I did not know he used to work as her driver," Mukesh said.

"How did such criminals manage to stay in the film industry? It is unbelievable," said Director Vinayan, while speaking to Asianet News. He added:

"Film maker Suresh also revealed the experience his wife had to go through. Despite this, this criminal went on to stay in the industry. He even survived enough to be someone who now supplies drivers. This is a serious matter."                  

Another top actor told TNM: "There used to be a union for drivers, but that fell apart.  These are people who love cinema and want to work closely with people in the industry.”