Four persons were held by the Kochi city police on Wednesday in connection with an attempt to blackmail popular South Indian actress Shamna Kasim. Police suspect the involvement of the gang in more such blackmailing.
The special investigation team probing the bid to blackmail Mollywood actor, Shamna Kasim, after approaching her with a marriage proposal, arrested the mastermind behind the crime on Saturday. Mohammed Shereef, a native of Palakkad, who had allegedly cooked up the blackmailing plan, was taken into custody from Palakkad, according to police. With his arrest, the total number of arrests rose to seven and at least two more remains to be caught. Besides Shereef, the other key player of the racket is Rafeeque. He was among the four persons arrested on Thursday, police said.
It was Rafeeque, already married and father of two, who played the role of the bridegroom of actor Shamna Kasim. However, he operated from behind the screen. The police also recovered the vehicle which was used by the accused, from Maradu. Rafeeq Mohammed, 30, Ambalathu House, Vadanappally; Ramesh Krishnan, 35, Korattikkara, Kunnamkulam; Sarath Sivadasan, 25, Kaippamangalam; and Asharaf Saidu Mohammed, 52, Kundaliyoor, were arrested earlier based on the complaint filed by Shamna’s mother Roulabi. Later, on Friday, two more persons Abdul Salam and Aboobacker, both natives of Vadanappally, landed in police net.
A detailed interrogation of the accused is under way. “The police are probing their larger plan behind attempting to entice her with a marriage proposal,” said Vijay Sakhare, Kochi City Police Commissioner. So far three women, working in movie and modelling fields, have come up with complaints against the arrested levelling serious allegations, including sexual assault. Meanwhile, there were reports that there is pressure on the victims to withdraw the complaints. “We will provide protection to the petitioners if required,” said DCP G Poonkuzhali.
“We will conduct a detailed interrogation of all the arrested together. Then, we will initiate further course of action. Five mobile phones have been seized from the accused and an inquiry will be conducted on the call records,” said an official with the investigation team.