Padavettu director Liju Krishna arrested on rape charges, FEFKA cancels membership
Director Liju Krishna has been arrested on charges of rape and sexual harassment
Director Liju Krishna, who collaborated with Nivin Pauly, Manju Warrier, Aditi Balan, and actor-producer Sunny Wayne on his debut feature Padavettu, has been arrested on charges of rape and sexual harassment. As per reports, Liju has confessed to the crime during preliminary interrogation.
The arrest comes in the wake of a complaint from a woman with whom Liju had associated. In a statement on the Facebook page of Woman Against Sexual Harassment, the survivor had posted details of her harrowing ordeals and the resulting physical and psychological trauma.
The Women in Cinema Collective had issued a statement wherein they expressed their solidary with the survivor and demanded that the filmmaker be barred from working in the film industry and suspended from all film associations until a verdict is issued. In their statement, the group said, "While the industry and the government are still discussing the implementation of the POSH Act and whether the Justice Hema Committee report should come out, another shocking incident of sexual abuse has been revealed. Director Liju Krishna has been arrested on charges of rape."
The statement further added, "WCC stands with the survivor and salutes her courage in speaking up. We demand that the industry and all the allied associations take serious note of this and 1) His membership in all Film Bodies should be suspended until there is a verdict. 2) He should be barred from working in the Malayalam Film Industry until the verdict."
WCC reiterates the need for the immediate implementation of the POSH Act on Malayalam film productions and a zero-tolerance policy to sexual harassment across the industry.
Following this, the Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) has issued a statement confirming the cancellation of Liju Krishnan's temporary membership in the association. FEFKFA President Renji Panicker and General Secretary GS Vijayan signed the statement.
The statement is as follows. "FEFKA is standing firm in the case of sexual harassment against Liju Krishna, the director of the film 'Padavettu' which is being shot. The FEFKA Directors' Union hereby announces that Liju Krishna's temporary membership in connection with the film has been cancelled."