News Malayalam

Filmmaker Sanal Kumar Sasidharan taken into custody for 'defaming' Manju Warrier on social media

The director and actress worked together in Kayattam, which had its premiere at the Busan International Film Festival in 2020.

Photo: Courtesy Sanal Kumar Sasidharan on Facebook

Haricharan Pudipeddi

Malayalam filmmaker Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, who is popular for movies such as S Durga (2018) and Chola (2019), was taken into police custody on Thursday in Kochi on a complaint by actress Manju Warrier, who alleged that he had been blackmailing her and defaming her on social media. The filmmaker reportedly streamed his being taken into custody live on Facebook. 

Sanal and Manju had worked together in his last film Kayattam, which had its premiere at the Busan International Film Festival in 2020. 

Over the past few days, Sanal had been claiming on social media that the actress’s life was in danger. 

Earlier this week, he put a post on Facebook that read, “Very Serious: Actress’s life is in danger. It has been four days since I posted on social media that the life of famous Malayalam actress Manju Warrier is in danger and she is in the custody of some people with vested interests.

"I posted the names of her managers Bineesh Chandran and Binu Nair and the reasons why I believe she is in detention. But so far neither Manju Warrier nor anyone else concerned has responded. Manju Warrier's silence reinforces my suspicion. Yesterday I sent an email to @wcc_cinema wcc, an organisation working for gender equality in Malayalam cinema. They, too, remain silent on the matter.

"When I say this on social media today, many people try to see this very serious issue as a joke. It is frightening that the mainstream media in Kerala is trying to pretend that it has not seen this issue. Since the issue I have raised is about the life and liberty of a nationally acclaimed film actress, I would like the national media to take this issue seriously (sic).”

Following this post, Manju filed a complaint at the Elamakkara police station in Kochi.