statesman news service
Kollam, 4 November
The controversy over Malayalam film actress Swetha Menon’s allegation that Congress MP N Peethambara Kurup had physically harassed her at the boat race function in Kollam on Friday seems to have lost its impetus with the actor withdrawing her complaint.
"In the wake of Mr Peetambhara Kurup’s repeated public and personal apology about the incident at the President’s Boat Race at Kollam, I am withdrawing all legal and other actions against him," she said in a statement.
The Kollam police team, including a woman Circle Inspector, Cicily, reached her flat in Kochi on Sunday and recorded Swetha’s statement regarding the alleged harassment. Based on this statement, Kollam East police had  registered a case against Kurup under  sections 354 and 354 (A) for assault or criminal force against a woman with intent to outrage her modesty, of the IPC and Section 119(A) of the Kerala Police Act.
Leaders of CPIM youth  wing, the DYFI, on whose complaint police initiated action, however, said the legal process would continue even if Swetha withdrew her charge.
Police decided to record the statement based on the petition submitted by the DYFI, Kollam district secretary, VP Prashant to city police commissioner, Debesh Kumar Behra under Section 154 of the code of Criminal Procedure.
Swetha’s U-turn  can also be viewed against the backdrop of protests and comments unleashed by Congress leaders against her. Some Congress leaders from Kollam repeatedly questioned the validity of Swetha’s allegations by focusing on some of her professional decisions.