THRISSUR, Kerala – National award-winning director Priyanandan, whose social media post on Sabarimala evoked angry reactions from the Sangh Parivar, was on Jan. 25 attacked here, leading to the arrest of the attacker.
The 53-year-old director said he was on his morning walk when a young man came up from behind him, hit him and poured cow dung mixed with water on him. The incident took place around 9 a.m.
“It seems this person was waiting for me,” Priyanandan said. “Generally, I take a walk on this route every day around 7 a.m. but today I got delayed. This is not a one-man attack. There are others behind it.”
The incident occurred near Priyanandan’s home near Thrissur.
Police said an RSS activist had been taken into custody for the attack.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity to IANS, a police officer said a 25-year-old man, Sarovar, was being questioned.
The director, whose second film “Pulijanmam,” received the National Award for the ‘Best Feature Film’ in 2006, believes the attack came due to his recent social media post on the Sabarimala temple row. He later withdrew the post.
Condemning the attack, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said such attacks would not be tolerated as it was an attack on the freedom of expression.
“This unholy act has taken place just because he made his point of view on social media. Soon after his post came, he was under cyber-attack. This will not be tolerated and appropriate action will be taken,” Vijayan said.
Priyanandan, known to have Left sympathies, began his film career as an assistant under directors K. R. Mohanan and P.T. Kunju Muhammed.
In 2001, he directed his first feature film and till date he has seven films and numerous documentaries to his credit.