Kollam: Actress Shweta Menon was allegedly molested by an "elected representative" from the area at a function in Kollam, sparking strong protests from the Malayalam film fraternity and women outfits, which demanded stern action against the politician.
Though Ms Menon did not reveal the identity of the politician who allegedly harassed her at the President's Trophy boat race last evening, media footage showed Congress MP N Peethambara Kurup from the area touching her but the lawmaker today strongly denied having committed such an act.
The actress, however, stood by her charge.
Speaking to reporters in Kochi, she said, "I was really humiliated. I stand by the statement I made yesterday."
Police are yet to register a case in connection with the incident, based either on the complaint the actress claimed to have orally made to the District Collector or by taking note of media reports.
However, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is learnt to have spoken to the Collector on the incident.
"It is totally untrue. I am telling this since my name has come up in a section of the media in connection with the incident," 73-year-old Kurup, representing Kollam in the Lok Sabha, told the media today.
He said it was extremely painful that his name had been dragged into the unfortunate incident and he was confident of proving his innocence with the backing of strong proof.
"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.
Condemning the incident, state Women's Commission Member Licy Jose hinted at the possibility of the panel making a suo motu inquiry into the incident.
President of Malayalam film artist association, AMMA, said Ms Menon 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," he said.
On the possibility of her lodging a formal complaint about the incident, Ms Menon said, "I have spoken to Innocent uncle... If any action is required I will do that after consultation with AMMA."