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Kerala Film Body on the Rocks: Three Actors Resign from AMMA ICC Over Vijay Babu

Actors Shwetha Menon and Kukku Parameshwaran resigned from AMMA's ICC, a day after Maala Parvathy stepped down.

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A day after actor Maala Parvathy resigned from the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA), two more prominent women actors resigned from AMMA's ICC on Tuesday, 3 May. Actor Kukku Parameshwaran and actor Shwetha Menon tendered their resignations on Tuesday.

Shwetha Menon was the chairperson of the ICC.

The resignations have come as AMMA "failed to take punitive action" against actor and producer Vijay Babu who is accused of rape, Maala Parvathy told The Quint. Babu also publicly named the woman actor who had lodged the complaint against him. The case is now under investigation and the Kerala Police has issued a lookout notice against Babu.

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What Led to the Resignations?

While the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) has publicly extended solidarity to the woman actor who lodged the complaint against Babu on 22 April, AMMA has not condemned the incident. Even AMMA's ICC has not probed the allegations.

However, the resignations are a response to "a crime that took place right in front of our eyes," Parvathy said.

"We all heard him naming the complainant in his Facebook live. He committed a crime by doing so."
Actor Maala Parvathy

A day after Babu held the live, on 27 April, AMMA's ICC recommended his removal from the body's executive committee.

Parvathy said that she resigned because AMMA "soft-peddled" the action against Babu. Meanwhile, one of the other two actors who quit told The Quint that she "resigned as a protest against AMMA's press release."

In a media release issued on 2 May, AMMA had stated that Babu himself decided to "stay away" from the executive committee of the body till his "innocence is proven." The release gave the impression that AMMA did not want to take punitive action against the accused, the actors who resigned said.

"It was clear that he decided to 'step down' because AMMA asked him to. But in AMMA's statement, the accused's resignation was portrayed as voluntary," the actor told The Quint.

The two new resignations came a day after AMMA announced Babu's decision to step down.

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'Resignations Not About the Alleged Rape'

The ICC has not probed the complaint against the alleged rape, the actor who resigned, said. "He did commit an offence by naming the complainant. Action should be taken against that behaviour," she added. Apart from the women, actor Baburaj too had raised an objection.

Maala Parvathy, meanwhile, said that the members of AMMA have been in touch with the accused even after the ICC made its recommendations.

"This is a person against whom a lookout notice has been issued. We cannot take these things lightly," she said.

Ideally, Babu should have been removed from his official position. "Voluntarily stepping down and being removed are two different things. In this case, he should have been removed," Parvathy said.

Babu, meanwhile, continues to be a member of AMMA. The women actors who have resigned from the ICC also continue to be AMMA members.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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