There was palpable tension in the air at Durbar hall ground in Kochi, where celebrities from the Malayalam film industry, politicians and commoners gathered to show their solidarity to the actor who was abducted on Friday night and filed a case of rape and conspiracy against her abductors.
For the representatives gathered there, the survivor is a dear friend whom they have vowed to support no matter what.
"There has clearly been a criminal conspiracy behind this crime. What we can do now is to give her our support and bring the accused before the law. A woman is entitled to receive the respect she gives a man, be it at her home or outside," popular actor Manju Warrier said.
Manju, a friend of the survivor, also said that she admired her courage in facing the situation.
Manju's address was followed by Mammootty's who referred to the survivor as an actor loved by many.
"We are the beacon of her anger, which should grow into a fire that is capable of destroying the criminals. Manliness is not in overpowering a woman, it is in protecting her," Mammootty said.
"Material possessions are not the only asset a person can have. Our pride and honour are our assets and we should go to any extend to protect them," he added.
Veteran actor KPAC Lalitha said that most women in the industry were forced to travel in the night and incidents like these increased their fear.
Sunday saw many actors including Mohanlal, Manju Warrier, Prithviraj, Nivin Pauly and Dulquer Salmaan voice their opinion through social media. Later in the day, durbar hall ground in Kochi became the epicentre of the movement, after Secretary of Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) Idavela Babu circulated a message on social media.
Popular actors, film makers and other celebrities took part in the solidarity meet called for by AMMA. Mainstream actors including Mammootty, Manju Warrier Geetu Mohan Das, AMMA President and MP Innocent could be seen occupying the front row of seats.
Sarayu Mohan, Jayasurya, Siddique, Manoj K Jayan, film makers Kamal, Lal and politicians including MLA Hibi Eden and CPI (M) district secretary P Rajeev too, joined the meet.
The actor was abducted while traveling from Thrissur to Kochi in her car by her driver Martin, a Koratti native. Currently, the police have arrested three persons including Martin and have launched a hunt for the four other accused.
The actor filed a complaint in this regard, and an FIR was lodged by the police under various sections. According to sources, the case has been filed under various sections of the IPC including 376 (rape), 366 (kidnapping a woman), 506 (criminal intimidation) and other relevant sections of the IT act. The men also allegedly took pictures and videos of the incident.