A Malaysian actress Shantini Theva filed a sexual abuse complaint against a former state minister of India last month. Yesterday (20th June), the ex-minister was arrested in Bengaluru, India for allegedly raping the actress.
Along with rape, the former minister in Tamil Nadu’s government M. Manikandan was charged with causing miscarriage, causing hurt, cheating and criminal intimidation under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). He was a minister from 2016 to 2019.
Theva, known for acting in the 2009 film “Nadodigal”, used to work with the Malaysian Tourism Development Organisation. She met the ex-minister in 2017 when he was still the information technology minister. He became friends with her under the pretext of investing in Malaysia.
According to Theva, she had been living with Manikandan for five years. The actress claimed that he promised to marry her despite already being married. She alleged that Manikandan made her pregnant thrice and forced her to get abortions.
Theva added that he threatened her and her family members who were still in Malaysia when she insisted on him marrying her. According to Free Malaysia Today, Manikandan has supposedly attacked Theva on several occasions, blackmailed her with intimate photos and videos, and made death threats. The Malaysian actress moved out of Manikandan’s home two months ago, allegedly after he pressured her to leave India. She is currently settled in Chennai.
The Madras High Court dismissed Manikandan’s bail application on Wednesday. According to the court, the anticipatory bail has no merit as the preliminary investigations are still ongoing. They also indicated the seriousness of the alleged offence as another reason for dismissing his bail application.
The former minister has denied all allegations. He stated that the complaint was made after he failed several times to compromise with the actress. He supposedly described her requests as “extortionist demands”.