Actress Shweta Menon was allegedly molested by an "elected representative" from the area at a function in Kollam, sparking strong protests from the Malayalam film fraternity and women outfits, which demanded stern action against the politician.
Though Shweta did not reveal the identity of the politician who allegedly harassed her at the President's Trophy boat race on Friday evening, media footage showed Congress MP N Peethambara Kurup from the area touching her but the lawmaker on Saturday strongly denied having committed such an act
The actress, however, stood by her charge.
Speaking to reporters in Kochi, she said, "I was really humiliated. I stand by the statement I made yesterday."
Police are yet to register a case in connection with the incident, based either on the complaint the actress claimed to have orally made to the District Collector or by taking note of media reports.
However, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is learnt to have spoken to the Collector on the incident.
"It is totally untrue. I am telling this since my name has come up in a section of the media in connection with the incident," 73-year-old Kurup, representing Kollam in the Lok Sabha, told the media persons on Saturday.
He said it was extremely painful that his name had been dragged into the unfortunate incident and he was confident of proving his innocence with the backing of strong proof.
"For the time being it needs to be seen only as a politically motivated move when elections are approaching. It is painful that any kind of malicious attack could be unleashed against me just because I am a politician," he said.
Condemning the incident, state Women's Commission Member Licy Jose hinted at the possibility of the panel making a suo motu inquiry into the incident.
Actor Innocent, also president of Malayalam film artist association AMMA, said Shewta had called him and said it was an "elected representative" who harassed her.
"Let her reveal the name of the person. But she has said it was an elected representative," Innocent said.
On the possibility of her lodging a formal complaint about the incident, Shweta said "I have spoken to Innocent uncle... If any action is required I will do that after consultation with AMMA."
"It is a most unfortunate and shameful incident that happened at Kollam. Shweta called me this morning and told me she suffered the humiliation from an elected representative. We demand strong action by the authorities," Innocent told local media.
Leader of CPI-M's women outfit and Rajya Sabha member T N Seema criticised the Collector for taking lightly the complaint of Shweta.
Shweta had claimed she had complained to Collector B Mohanan, about the incident at the event, to which she was invited as the Chief Guest.
"I am ashamed of what had happened. I have made a complaint to the District Collector. I have nothing more to say now," she said.
Asked about it, Mohanan, however, said he had not received any complaint from the actress.
Shweta on Saturday said she had not reacted at the function as she did not want to create a scene there. She said she had informed the Collector about the incident over phone and he had apologized to her.
However, the official had now withdrawn what he had said. "As a woman I feel degraded," she said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters at Kottayam that he had not received any complaint from the actor so far on the incident.
"If we get a complaint, after investigation appropriate action will be taken," he said.