Kochi: Investigators looking into complaints of rape and assault against actor-producer Vijay Babu have found prima facie evidence against him, City Police Commissioner C H Nagaraju said, even as a lookout circular was issued to prevent the suspect from fleeing the country.
The evidence was collected during scientific examinations conducted at two places, the officer said, adding that police would inspect more places linked with the case.
A female actor, a newcomer, had accused Babu of repeatedly raping her on promises of roles in movies.
After she had made the allegation, Babu took to Facebook claiming he was being victimised and breached the law by revealing the survivor’s identity, inviting one more case.
The commissioner said examinations so far conducted established the presence of Babu, besides providing the police information on the exploitation of the young woman. It was also understood that Babu had tried to influence the survivor.
Nagaraju said no others have complained against Babu. If more women came forward with complaints against the actor-producer, they too would be probed. Police said they would inspect the suspect’s apartment at Kochi.
The Ernakulam South Police have registered two cases against Babu, for the alleged rape and for making public the survivor’s identity.
Police registered the case on Tuesday even though the woman had lodged a complaint on April 22. Besides booking him for rape, police have also registered an assault case based on the woman’s statement.
Investigators said Babu has gone into hiding. In the Facebook live on Wednesday midnight in which he disclosed the woman’s identity, Babu claimed that he was in Dubai and said anyone could contact him.
“There are procedures to bring the accused back home and that is part of the investigation,” he said when asked about the procedures to bring Babu back home.
“We will take steps, but gradually, not immediately. At present there was no need to take up the matter to Interpol. If necessary, we will do that,” the commissioner said.
While revealing her details, he expressed willingness to face its consequences. He also claimed that he was in possession of several WhatsApp chats revealing his relationship with the woman.
Babu had said that he would file a defamation case against the woman. It was, however, learnt that he was trying to secure an anticipatory bail.
After the suspect had revealed the woman’s identity, her social media accounts were flooded with lewd comments. The cyber attack made her deactivate her accounts.
The survivor explained the trauma she had undergone in a post on the Facebook page, Women against Sexual Harassment.
She said Babu exploited her after intoxicating her with drugs. She said Babu, who runs the company Friday Film House, physically assaulted and sexually exploited her between March 13, 2022 and April 14.
“…he gained my trust by being friendly and advising me as I was a newcomer in the film industry with no proper guidance,” she wrote, adding that he had trapped her by donning the role of a ‘saviour-cum-friend-cum-lover.
“Whenever I was conscious, I denied consent for engaging in sex. But for him it was never an issue and disregarding my protest he raped me several times during the past 1.5 months,” the survivor said. “Each time I tried to run away from this trauma, he would come after me with false promises of marriage.”
The woman added that Babu kicked her on the stomach when she was on periods, and spat on her face. He recorded her nude video and threatened to make it public and ruin her career.
In a post-script, she added that she would initiate “strict legal action against those who victim-shame me or attack me personally on social media or otherwise try to tarnish my image and identity.