No disciplinary action against rape-accused actor, says AMMA; woman actor quits complaints committee

The Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) said Monday it cannot take any instant disciplinary action against Vijay Babu, who is facing a rape charge, even as its internal complaints committee had recommended steps to be taken against the actor-producer.

AMMA vice-president Maniyanpilla Raju told the media that Babu cannot be kicked out of the actors’ body. “A person cannot be shown the door from the association on the sole ground that there is a complaint against him. We have to get his version and there should be multiple hearings. We also have to protect a member of the association,” said Raju, who is also a producer in the industry.

Raju said that the AMMA’s executive committee, which met in Kochi on Sunday, accepted Babu’s request to voluntarily step down from the executive committee. Babu informed the AMMA that he would prove his innocence and return to the executive committee.

As the body representing actors of the Malayalam film industry failed to act against Babu, actor Mala Parvathy on Monday announced her decision to quit as a member of the internal complaint committee as a mark of protest.

“The AMMA’s decision is not acceptable. The internal complaints committee had recommended that Babu should be removed from the executive committee. His decision to keep away from the executive does not amount to disciplinary action. It is not the right decision. Instead of accepting his request, the AMMA should have acted against the actor,’’ said Parvathy.

Babu went into hiding after the Kochi city police registered a rape case against him last week. On Thursday, the police issued a lookout circular against Babu, who also faces a case for revealing the name of his accuser on a Facebook live.

Earlier, the AMMA had expelled popular actor Dileep from its membership after he was arrested on charges of conspiracy behind the abduction and sexual assault of a woman actor in 2017. However, in July 2018, the AMMA reinstated Dileep, triggering protests from women members of the actors’ body

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