Leader of right-wing organisation Rashtriya Bajrang Dal, a part of the Antharashtra Hindu Parishad has been arrested for vandalising the set of an upcoming Malayalam film in Kalady in Ernakulam district.
Thirty-seven-year-old Ratheesh (Kara Ratheesh), a native of Malayattoor, is the prime accused in the case of vandalising a church-like movie set that was made for the upcoming film Minnal Murali starring Tovino Thomas.
Ernakulam Rural Police told The News Minute that Ratheesh is an accused in 29 other cases including three murder cases and several murder attempts.
Police officials also said that Ratheesh had been prevented from entering the district at one point using the Kerala Anti-Social Activities Prevention Act.
Appeal on a murder case in which he was convicted for 10 years in prison, is still ongoing in the Kerala High Court.
“Their main aim was to create communal disharmony, they have confessed to it,” a top official told TNM.
Four other men who were part of destroying the film set were also arrested on Tuesday. 19-year-old Rahul Raj, Rahul (22), Gokul (25) and Sandeep Kumar (33) are the others who have been arrested. All four are natives of Ernakulam district.
Many from the Malayalam film industry had come out strongly condemning the incident. The upcoming film which is directed by Basil Joseph had constructed the set, but could not proceed with the shoot due to the lockdown.
Condemning the incident, CM Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said that Kerala is not a place for “communal forces to play such games”. He also asked what harm was done in constructing a church set.
(Published in an arrangement with The News Minute.)