The Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) has drawn flak from the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) for allowing actor and director Vijay Babu, who stands accused of rape by a junior woman actor, to attend its general body meeting on Sunday.
WCC secretary and scriptwriter Deedi Damodaran said AMMA's action was unfortunate and highly deplorable. She said the actress had complained to the police that the actor had raped her several times while offering her roles in his new movies.
Babu had gone into hiding in Dubai after the police complaint and came back to Kerala only after getting anticipatory bail. The actor raised the hackles of the WCC after he attended the general body meeting of the association, of which he is a member.
In a related development, Malayalam actress Swetha Menon, who was an AMMA internal complaints committee (ICC) member, and who had resigned from the committee on the issue of Babu continuing as a member of the organization after the police had registered a rape case against him, was also present throughout the general body meeting.
Clarifying the association's stand, Edavela Babu, actor and AMMA general secretary, said Vijay Babu continues to be a member of the organization as his case is subjudice and the court has not yet given a verdict against the actor.
Meanwhile, Shammy Tilakan, who was expelled from the organization, told media persons that he had not done anything wrong to merit the action taken against him. He said he had replied to the charges made against him in writing to the AMMA president, Malayalam superstar Mohanlal, but he did not get any answer.
He said he was expelled from AMMA because the organization still held a grudge against his father, the late legendary Malayalam actor, Tilakan. Tilakan added that he had information that Mammooty, the other Malayalam superstar, had supported his continuation in the organization during the general body meeting.
[With Inputs from IANS]