Police oppose Bhagylakshmi anticipatory bail petition

The State police on Wednesday opposed the anticipatory bail plea of dubbing artiste Bhagyalakshmi and two other women.

The police had indicted them for ‘assaulting’ a 50-year-old YouTuber Vijayan P. Nair. Investigators had termed the attack as an illegal act of personal payback against Mr. Nair for ‘uploading’ a slanderous video about Ms. Bhagyalakshmi on his widely watched blog.

The other accused in the case are women’s rights activist Diya Sana and Sree Lakshmi Arackal. The Thampanoor police had registered a case against the trio based on a complaint filed by Mr. Nair. He alleged that the women had barged into his room and battered him.

They allegedly used obscene language against him and stole his laptop and mobile phone. Mr. Nair accused the women of having recorded the assault on their mobile cameras. They, later, broadcast the footage on social media and television news channels, he said.

Ms. Bhagyalakshmi and her partners had surrendered the devices they appropriated from Mr. Nair at the local police station. The police indicted them for criminal trespass, assault, verbal abuse and theft.

The police told the court that granting anticipatory bail to the women on bail would tantamount to encouraging vigilantism in society. The district court here will give its ruling on Friday.

Polarising issue

The episode had triggered a deeply polarising debate on gender equations in Kerala.

Ms. Bhagyalakshmi’s critics viewed her embrace of violent personal vendetta as a righteous form of retribution for the trespass on her dignity as tantamount to radical vigilantism.

Her backers perceived the episode as a demonstrative act of political activism aimed at sending a cautionary message to misogynists and abusive men.

Ms. Bhagyalakshmi had expressed her willingness to go to jail for the offence. She had also received support from Left Democratic Front (LDF) women leaders, particularly Kerala Women’s Commission chairperson M.C. Josephine.

The police had arrested Mr. Nair earlier on the charge of defaming women. He was currently in judicial custody.

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