Actress Priyanka Anoop let off by court in Kaveri blackmail case

Actress Priyanka Anoop
Actress Priyanka Anoop

Kochi:  Actress Priyanka Anoop has been acquitted by a court in a case registered early in 2004 over an alleged attempt to blackmail another film star, Kaveri.

After being exonerated, Priyanka met the media at the Ernakulam Press Club on Wednesday where she became emotional and explained her ordeal.

“When I spoke to the media 20 years back, I had said that I would return to this place after proving my innocence. Now the time has come. Heartbroken, I shed many tears that day. But the tears in my eyes today are tears of joy,” said Priyanka.

Court order

The case was registered by the Thiruvalla police on February 10, 2004. Priyanka was charged with Indian Penal Code (IPC) 384, 419, 420 and other sections dealing with impersonation, issuing threats and cheating. Subsequently, a charge-sheet was filed by the police in 2012 and the trial began on November 2015.

Finally, on October 26 this year, the Magistrate Court, Thiruvalla pronounced its judgment. The court which found no evidence against Priyanka unconditionally absolved her of all charges.

Actress Kaveri
Actress Kaveri

The complaint

The case began with actress Kaveri filing a complaint with the Thiruvalla police in 2004.

The complaint alleged that Priyanka had told Kaveri’s mother over phone that a crime magazine which was popular at the time was planning to publish an article which would damage Kaveri’s reputation and that the magazine could be stopped from going ahead with the plan if an amount of Rs 5 lakh was paid.

Subsequently, Kaveri contacted the editor of the crime magazine, who denied that he was planning any article on Kaveri.

Following this, the police made elaborate preparations to trap the person who made the phone call.

The police asked Kaveri’s  mother to contact the person over phone and say that instead of Rs 5 lakh, a sum of Rs 3 lakh would be paid. The person was also asked to reach a hotel in Alappuzha to collect the money. Priyanka was reportedly summoned to hand over the money and was arrested in front of the hotel. Meanwhile, the editor of the magazine had also filed a complaint against misusing the name of his publication.

Lost years, chances

Priyanka told the media on Wednesday that she had lost several roles in major films after the case was filed. She was also expelled from a TV show. “It is sad that the trial took such a long time,” said the actress.

“While I made others laugh doing comedy, there was gloom in my real life. But my husband and family was a huge support all these years. There were some good friends too by my side,” she said.

In fact, Priyanka had contemplated suicide when the crisis deepened. “But, if I had taken my own life, I wouldn’t have enjoyed the happiness that I now experience,” the actress told reporters.

Priyanka added that she had overcome her despair, even though almost 20 years of her youth was lost. “To be frank, I feel I have regained those 20 years,” she quipped.

Malayalam film actress Priyanka addresses the press in kochi soon after her release from police remand for allegedly blackmailing a leading south Indian actress Kaveri. Friday,13 feb,2004/

The star also thanked some directors who had given her minor roles in movies while she was facing the crisis.

Kaveri was once so close’

The Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) also had been supportive, said Priyanka.

“A complaint was given to AMMA against me. I kept AMMA constantly informed about the developments of the case,” she added.

According to Priyanka, she was always eager to help people and had informed the news regarding Kaveri to her family as soon she heard it purely based on a friendship.

“I was very close to Kaveri and her family. However, I have not spoken to them after the case was filed. I was, in fact, made an accused based on a misunderstanding,” said Priyanka.

Anonymous message

“An anonymous message was received in my phone which said that an article would appear in the magazine damaging Kaveri’s reputation. I simply called her family and informed them of the matter,” explained Priyanka.

“Later, Priyanka’s mother asked me to come to Alappuzha. Only after I reached there did I realize that it was a trap,” she added.

“All information, including details of the anonymous message received on my phone was passed on to the police,” revealed Priyanka.

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