Kochi/Malappuram: Two youths, accused of harassing a young actress, at the Lulu Mall in Kochi on Thursday have been detained by the police. Their arrest will be recorded on Monday.
Malappuram natives Mohammed Adil and Ramshad were taken in by the law-enforcers on Sunday night. The men will be charged under IPC Section 354, police said.
The actress has extended her 'heartfelt thanks to the police and media, who acted with immediate effect'.
The incident had occurred on Thursday when the actress had gone shopping along with her mother, sister and brother.
Arrests before surrender
The accused initially tried to secure an anticipatory bail from the Kerala High Court, but they later withdrew the plea.
The youths, both 24 years old, had also intended to surrender, but the police scuttled this move.
The duo were on their way from Malappuram to Kalamassery in Ernakulam to surrender before the probe officers at the police station when the cops intercepted their vehicle at the CUSAT Junction around 8:50pm on Sunday and took them into custody.
Earlier, a lawyer engaged by the culprits had said that they would surrender before the police or court soon.
Police at door steps
The case is being investigated by Kalamassery police inspector on the directive of Kochi city police commissioner Vijay Sakhare.
A police team led by Kalamassery police inspector had arrived at Adil's house at Kadannamanna on Sunday afternoon, while the team led by Mankada SI reached Ramshad's house at Karimala.
The youths said that they had gone into hiding, as per their lawyer’s advice.
CCTV visuals of two men walking through a Kochi metro station were aired by police as the probe commenced.
Duo asks for forgiveness
Adil is a resident of Kadannamanna and Ramshad hails from Karimala in the north Kerala district.
The duo had handed over their video message, explaining the incident at the mall, to the media on Sunday morning. In the message, the duo claimed that they were ready to surrender before the police, and apologise to the actress and her family.
Though the actress' family is yet to react to this, they are likely to forgive the youths, according to sources.
"I acknowledge and accept the person's will to extend an apology,” the actress wrote on Instagram.
Meanwhile, the police stance is that they would continue with the legal proceedings if the case is not withdrawn. The accused were not taken to the station even late on Sunday night.
Taking a serious note of the incident, the State Women's Commission has also registered a case on its own.
Adil and Ramshad claimed in the video that they did not intentionally try to insult the actress or stalk her.
"We had gone to Thrissur for repairing the AC of the car belonging to Ramshad's father, and then went to Kochi to take part in a job interview. After the interview, we spent time at the mall till it was time for the train," they narrated.
"We did not go to the mall with any wrong intentions. We saw the actress at the mall, we went up to her and spoke to her. We did not realise that she was an actress first. After we noticed another family taking selfies with the actress, we went up to talk to her. We do not know if we accidentally touched her in the crowd. We are ready to apologise if there was any wrong behaviour from our part," Adil and Ramshad said in the video message.
Both are in search of jobs after completing some automobile-related course.
They have no criminal background and are not involved in any case, the Mankada police stated.
The police had initiated the investigation after the actress shared the disturbing experience she had at the mall on Thursday. She had said on her Instagram account, “… One of them not so accidentally grazed his hands on my back while walking past me. Because it caught me off guard I couldn’t react immediately.”
The actress also alleged that the men apparently stalked her and her sister.