Kerala Actress Abduction Case: How The 'Mastermind' Was Caught

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An award-winning South Indian actress was kidnapped and sexually assaulted in Kerala last week.


KOCHI:  The hunt for the prime suspect in the kidnapping and sexual assault of a south Indian actor from Kerala last week ended in a Kochi court complex on Thursday when the police caught him before he could surrender before a judge. Police dragged Pulsar Sunil out of the court compound and bundled him into a waiting police van.

Sunil, who is alleged to be the mastermind in the case, will be interrogated by the police that has 24 hours to produce him before the local court, possibly the same judge before who he intended to surrender. He and his two accomplices had earlier filed for anticipatory bail in the Kerala High Court but the court had put off the hearing to a later date.

The accused were allegedly involved in kidnapping the 30-year-old Malayalam actor, who has also worked in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada movies, when she was returning to Kochi from a shoot on Friday, and sexually assaulted her as they drove around in Ernakulam district for nearly two hours.

Kerala police chief Loknath Behra said Sunil and an accomplice had been taken into custody. Behra refused to comment on Sunil's arrest from the court complex.

But Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had no qualms talking about it. "Those who are making an issue of police entering the court and arresting the accused, must keep in mind the victim," he said.

Police had earlier arrested three men including the actor's driver, Martin, for the crime, that has been used by the opposition to target the Pinarayi Vijayan government. "If this is the plight of a celebrity, what can one say about ordinary people. This is really shocking," Ramesh Chennithala, a former state Home Minister had said.

Mr Vijayan later reached out to the actor and promised stern action against the culprits.

Mr Behra - whose police force had been criticised for the delay in arresting the key suspect - stressed investigation was not "a magic wand". "Sometimes it takes time to get the accused and we did our best and now we have them," he said.

In her complaint to the police, the actor said her car was rear-ended by another vehicle when she was on her way back.  An argument followed and two men entered the car and directed her driver to proceed to Kochi after threatening him. The actor was reportedly held hostage for two hours, sexually assaulted and her pictures taken.

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