A look-out notice was issued against Malayalam actor Vijay Babu in a rape case by the Kerala Police on Thursday, PTI reported.
The police said “prima facie the case is proved” against Babu, who is currently not in the country.
“There is an exploitative angle in this case,” Kochi Police Commissioner CH Nagaraju Chakilam said.
Since a look-out notice is issued against him, Babu will be apprehended after landing at any airport in the country.
The complainant, who is also an actor, has alleged that Babu sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions on the pretext of offering roles in films. A case was filed on April 22 based on her complaint.
Babu was initially charged under the Indian Penal Code Sections 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt).
After Babu went live on his Facebook page on Wednesday and revealed the name of the complainant, he was booked in another case, PTI reported.
“We will seek exemplary punishment against him for that offence since naming the survivor is a dangerous trend and further added to her misery,” Chakilam said, reported The Hindu.
Revealing the identity of a woman who has been raped or has levelled the allegations is punishable under Section 228A of the Indian Penal Code.
Chakilam said that the police were in the process of gathering evidence against the accused person.
When asked if the police were bringing Babu back to India, Chakilam said that there are procedures for it.
“We will take steps, but gradually, not immediately,” he added. “At present there was no need to take up the matter to Interpol. If necessary, we will do that.”
In a statement released on social media, the complainant alleged she was physically and sexually assaulted by Babu between March and April.
“I have known him [Babu] for a few years in the industry and had worked together with him for a movie,” the actor wrote. “Through this time, he gained my trust by being friendly and advising me as I was a newcomer in the film industry with no proper guidance. He behaved like my saviour for my personal and professional problems but under the guise has sexually exploited me.”
The actor said she was afraid to speak about the alleged assault due to Babu’s influence in the industry.
“Each time I tried to run away from this trauma, he would come after me with false promises of marriage,” she said. “I was under his control and was scared to speak up because of the clout, influence and power he wielded in the film industry.”
Meanwhile, Babu said that he had known the woman since 2018 and had given her a role in one of his films after an audition.
“She sent several messages to me saying that she was suffering from depression,” he said. “I have around 400 screenshots of those messages. I haven’t sent any messages to that woman for the last one-and-a-half years.”
Babu said he will file a defamation case against the complainant for tarnishing his image.