Following the attack on director Priyanandan over a controversial Facebook post on Sabarimala, Kerala cops arrested a 25-year old RSS worker on Friday. The accused has been identified as Sarovar, a native of Vallachira in Thrissur. He was nabbed by the Cherpu police in Kodungallur town on Friday evening.
On Friday morning, the accused threw water mixed with cow dung on director Priyanandan near the latterâ€™s house in Vallachira and later attacked and threatened him for his Facebook post on Lord Ayyappa. The director who was admitted at the Cherpu Community Health Centre said that he could identify the perpetrator if he saw him. He later filed a complaint with the police.
Three weeks ago, the director had written a post on the Sabarimala deity Ayyappa on his Facebook page. The post, which consisted of several derogatory words, drew a lot of flak from several quarters following which the director pulled it down. It was following this incident that the attack took place.
â€śThe accused has been booked under IPC sections 355 (Assault or criminal force with intent to dishonour person, otherwise than on grave provocation), 324 (Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 506 (criminal intimidation), 294b (sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place), 153 (Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot). We might produce him before the magistrate either today or tomorrow,â€ť an officer from the Cherpu police station told TNM.
Reacting to the incident, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the attack against Priyanandan was condemnable. He also alleged that the director was faced with cyber threats and warnings from right wing groups a few weeks ago, following his controversial post. Stating that such attacks are an infringement on creative freedom, the CM said that such incidents will not be tolerated in any way.
Priyanandan was awarded the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in 2008 and the Kerala State Film Award for Best Debut Director in 2001.