Kollam (Kerala): Leading Malayalam film actor Shweta Menon, who was allegedly molested by Congress MP N. Peethambara Kurup, on Saturday said she would lodge a formal complaint with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy about the 'humiliation' she suffered.
"As a woman I feel degraded and disrespected and I will be giving a complaint to the chief minister," she told reporters at Kochi.
73-year-old Kurup, however, termed the allegation as 'untrue'.
"For the time being it needs to be seen only as a politically motivated move when elections are approaching. It is painful that any kind of malicious attack could be unleashed against me just because I am a politician," he said.
Shewta, along with her husband Sreevalsan Menon, met office-bearers of various film industry bodies, including AMMA at Kochi, about the Friday evening incident. Sreevalsan said a complaint had already been drawn up and it just needed to be e-mailed to the chief minister seeking appropriate action.
"We have decided to send this to the chief minister and we have requested him to take action," Shewata said claiming that the film fraternity has pledged full support to her.
Asked repeatedly about the person allegedly involved in the incident, the actress, who has so far not named her tormentor, said all the details were in the complaint. Shweta said what pained her most was that the District Collector 'ignored' her complaint.
"The collector said I did not speak to him. He has let me down as a person," she said.
Rejecting Kurup's contention that the charge was part of a politically motivated move, she said, "This is not politics and there is no question of me backing out from by complaint. I know I will get support from all sides."
Shweta was allegedly molested by the Congress MP Friday evening at the venue of the President's Trophy boat race in Kollam. The television footage of the event showed the MP moving towards the actress and touching her. The incident has triggered strong protests from film fraternity and women outfits.
Shweta had claimed Friday night itslef that she had told the district collector B. Mohanan of the bitter experience she suffered.
Seizing on this, women activists and opposition political leaders voiced strong resentment at the 'failure' of the authorities to act against the MP based on her oral complaint or take a suo moto action by taking cognisance of the TV visuals.
Leader of CPI(M)'s women outfit and Rajya Sabha member T.N. Seema criticised the Collector for taking lightly the complaint of actor.
Meanwhile, Chandy told reporters at Kottayam that he had not received any complaint from the actor so far. "If we get a complaint, after investigation appropriate action will be taken,." he said.
Condemning the incident, CPI(M) stalwart and state opposition V.S. Achuthanandan said it was deplorable that the authorities had not bothered to act on either the actor's oral complaint or on their own.
State Women's Commission member Licy Jose said in Kochi she would take up the case before the panel and her personal view was that it was fit case for suo moto action.
While many Congress leaders expressed personal resentment at the incident the party was yet to take an official stand on the incident. Meanwhile, the pro-Left youth outfit took out marches at several places across the state and burnt Kurup's effigy.
Next: Film fraternity extends support to Shweta
Film fraternity extends support to Shweta
Actor Innocent, also president of Malayalam film artist association AMMA, said Shewta had called him and said it was an "elected representative" who harassed her.
"Let her reveal the name of the person. But she has said it was an elected representative," Innocent said.
"It is a most unfortunate and shameful incident that happened at Kollam. Shewata called me this morning and told me she suffered the humiliation from an elected representative. We demand strong action by the authorities," Innocent told local media.