Kozhikode police question Suresh Gopi for allegedly misbehaving with woman journalist; BJP takes out protest march

BJP leaders were accompanied by hundreds of party supporters, including women, who were carrying placards in support of the actor.

BySouth First Desk

Published Nov 15, 2023 | 2:09 PMUpdatedNov 15, 2023 | 2:10 PM

Suresh Gopi appears before police

Actor and BJP leader Suresh Gopi appeared before the Kozhikode police on Wednesday, 15 November, to record his statement in a case pertaining to a complaint filed by a woman journalist stating that he misbehaved with her during his interaction with reporters in Kozhikode last month.

The actor was summoned by police to appear before the investigating officer at Nadakkavu police station and he arrived at around 11.45 am.

Terming the police action “politically motivated,” senior BJP leaders in Kerala, including the party’s state chief K Surendran, took out a protest march to the station.

Related: Suresh Gopi booked for ‘misbehaving’ with woman TV journalist

BJP workers protest police summons

The BJP leaders were accompanied by hundreds of party supporters, including a large number of women, who carried placards in support of the actor.

Additionally, people also gathered in large numbers outside the station since morning awaiting the arrival of the actor.

The crowd outside the station was big, it became difficult for Gopi’s vehicle to enter the station.

Surendran, speaking to reporters, said that Gopi was “targeted” when he started speaking out against the alleged “injustices and illegalities” of the ruling CPI(M) in the state.

The BJP state chief alleged that the “political hunt” of the actor began after he intervened in the multi-crore Karuvannur Cooperative Bank scam.

“This is an agenda of the government and Pinarayi Vijayan. If the action is not withdrawn, protests would be held across the state,” he contended.

Meanwhile, the police were deployed in large numbers to prevent any untoward incident in view of the huge crowd of BJP supporters and fans of the actor who turned up outside the Nadakkavu police station.

Also read: Suresh Gopi apologises to woman journalist for his ‘misbehaviour’

The case

The former BJP Rajya Sabha member landed in trouble after a video surfaced online in which he was seen placing his hand on the shoulder of the journalist, who tried to shrug away twice.

Based on her complaint, the Nadakkavu Police in Kozhikode on 28 October, registered the case against Gopi. She lodged the complaint along with the purported video of the incident with the city police commissioner, who, in turn, handed it over to the local police station for further action.

The woman journalist also took up the issue with the Kerala Women’s Commission, which sought a report from the district police chief.

“A case was registered against Suresh Gopi under IPC 354,” a police officer told PTI.

Section 354 of the IPC deals with assault or use of criminal force against any woman, intending to outrage her modesty.

Also read: On Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi and the curious criminal cases they face

Facing intense criticism from various quarters, the Kaliyattam actor tendered an apology, saying he treated her with affection.

Gopi said he had never been disrespectful to anyone in his life on or off the stage and apologised to her if she had suffered any mental agony due to his behaviour.

The actor said he had treated the woman journalist affectionately in the presence of other media persons.

“But, in my opinion, whatever she feels about it should be respected. I tender an apology if she felt bad or suffered any mental stress anyway… Sorry,” Gopi, also a national award-winning actor, said in a Facebook post.

Despite his apology, criticism from various quarters pointed out that his behaviour had been inappropriate.

(With PTI inputs)