Just days after a woman actor accused Malayalam actor and producer Vijay Babu of rape and harassment, another woman from the film industry has alleged that he had tried to kiss her "without consent."
Nagaraju Chakilam, commisioner of police, Kochi told The Quint, “We learnt about the social media posts but there has been no official complaints. We urge the survivor and any others to come forward and file complaints so that we can make public spaces safer."
Second Survivor Says She Quit Films Due to Alleged Harassment
The recent allegation was raised anonymously on Friday, 29 April on the Facebook page 'Women Against Sexual Harassment.' The survivor said the incident happened during a work-related meeting in November 2021.
“He was drinking alcohol and offered it to me as well. I refused and continued working. Suddenly he just leaned to kiss me on my lips, without any question, without any consent. Luckily, my reflex action was super quick and I just pulled myself backwards and maintained a distance from him. I looked into his face, and he then asked me ‘Just one kiss?’"
"I stood up and said no. He started apologising from then and requested me to not tell anyone. I agreed as I was scared. I immediately got out of the room casually for some silly reason,” the post read.
The woman alleged that she was shocked that he allegedly made a move on her when he “knew her barely for 20-30 minutes.”
“Even though he didn’t further force me to do anything, the thing which he did was cheap and scary. I had to discontinue my work because of this. I just stopped taking efforts to enter the Malayalam film industry after this, which was a dream for me until then.”Second Survivor's Account
Raising her voice for the survivor of the alleged rape, who has already raised a police complaint on which investigation is underway, the post read, “She deserves justice. Also, by removing or punishing people like him, the myths about the film industry – ‘not safe for women’ should be proved wrong for women like me to not be scared to step in.”
Kerala Police: 'CCTV Confirms Presence of Vijay Babu in Luxury Hotels, Flat with the First Survivor'
The Kerala police told The Quint that they have collected "adequate evidence" including CCTV footage of Vijay Babu and the first survivor arriving at the hotels and the flat, which were mentioned in her complaint. The statement of the employees of the hotel has been recorded.
It has been found that the survivor was sexually abused in five places and the police have evidence of Babu coming to all these places.
“We have collected scientific and oral evidence to prove the allegations made by the survivor. We have spoken to her colleagues who knew about their relationship and that she was being harassed. There were eyewitnesses who have seen her crying and walking out of offices, as mentioned in her complaint.”Nagaraju Chakilam, Commisioner of Police, Kochi
Earlier, sources told The Quint that the police had registered the case for rape last week but kept it confidential to gather evidence, considering the high-profile of the accused.
“She was so scared that she will be tracked by the accused and so was constantly changing her location. She knew he could get aggressive when these allegations go public. But now she is safe,” the source had said.
In the complaint filed on 22 April, the first survivor alleged that Babu had forced her to ‘drink alcohol or take happy pills.' Vijay Babu then hosted a Facebook Live on Tuesday, 26 April, denying the allegations.
Anticipatory Bail Filed by Babu
Meanwhile, Babu has reportedly filed for an anticipatory bail plea in the Kerala High Court stating the first survivor was trying to blackmail him.
In his plea for anticipatory bail, Babu alleged, as per the "present trend," for the sake of publicity, anybody can level sexual allegations against anybody. The effort has been to tarnish the image of a person who is popular, he alleged.
"Now the attempt of the de facto complainant is to blackmail the petitioner by simply filing the complaint alleging that the petitioner forcefully sexually assaulted her."Vijay Babu in his plea filed through lawyer S Rajeev
"The police are also guided by media reports and they wanted to finish the chapter by arresting the petitioner, for the purpose of creating news for the media, due to the pressure from media people," the petition read.
Meanwhile, a lookout notice has been issued by the police against Babu, who is charged under sections 376 (sexual assault), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
“He is abroad and he will be arrested the moment he lands at any airport. We are investigating the case thoroughly while searching for him,” the commissioner of police, Kochi told The Quint.
In 2017, Sandra Thomas, co-producer with whom Babu had founded the production company ‘Friday Film House’ had filed a case of assault against Babu. The complaint was later withdrawn.
"Survivors can share their accounts on social media but they should legally pursue the case. We have seen in the cases of sexual harassment by Sujeesh PS, a tattoo artist, and Anez Anzare, a makeup artist, complaints by many survivors helped the investigation. We want more people from the cinema industry to file complaints so that we can ensure safety," the Kochi commissioner of police said.