Ex-Indian state minister arrested after allegedly raping Malaysian actress

Malaysian actress Shantini Theva presenting her police complaint to the media. Photo: Sun News/Instagram
Malaysian actress Shantini Theva presenting her police complaint to the media. Photo: Sun News/Instagram

An ex-Indian state minister was arrested in Bengaluru, India yesterday after allegedly raping a Malaysian Indian actress, along with a slew of other alleged offenses. The arrest precedes a complaint lodged by actress Shantini Theva with Indian police last month. 

Manikandan, who was Tamil Nadu’s IT minister from  2016 to 2019, was charged with rape, causing miscarriage, causing hurt, cheating, and criminal intimidation under the Indian Penal Code. He was also charged under the IT Act.

Shantini, who appeared in the movie Naadodigal in 2009, had claimed that she was in a live-in relationship with Manikandan for five years and that he had promised to marry her despite already being married. She alleged that Manikandan made her pregnant thrice, forced her to get abortions, and threatened her family members in Malaysia when she insisted on marriage. 

Other reports stated that Manikandan had allegedly attacked Shantini on multiple occasions, made death threats, and threatened to leak intimate photos and videos online. 

Manikandan, who denied all allegations, was reportedly refused “anticipatory bail” on Wednesday.

Both of them met in 2017 and developed a friendship on the pretext of investing in Malaysia. The duo mostly lived together until two months ago, when Manikandan allegedly pressured Shantini to leave India.  

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