The Thankamany incident: Real story behind Dileep-starrer ‘Thankamani’

 Mollywood is gearing up for another exciting release. Come Thursday, (March 7), revenge-drama Thankamani, with Dileep in the lead, will hit cinemas. Directed by Ratheesh Reghunandan and produced by R. B. Choudary and Raaffi Mathirra, the movie, also starring Manoj. K. Jayan, Siddique, Neeta Pillai and Pranitha Subhash, is based on a real-life incident that happened in Thankamany village of Idukki district in Kerala on October 21, 1986.

The tragedy began with an altercation between bus operators and college students over bus service. The route between Kattappana and Thankamany was in poor condition and most of the buses would not ply till Thankamany, but would stop at Paramada. From this stop, people would have to travel another two kilometers to reach Thankamany. However, the passengers would be charged ticket fares up to Thankamany. People in the village and students were upset and angry over this.

One day, a bus named Elite, as usual, stopped at Paramada. Some of the passengers questioned this and forcefully made the bus employees drive it till Thankamany. The owner of the bus, Devasya, reached the village with cops and tried to take back the bus. This resulted in a quarrel between the police and the locals.

Under the leadership of circle inspector I.C. Thamban, the police unleashed violence on the villagers—they opened fire at people, demolished houses, and sexually assaulted women. The movie, Thankamani, is expected to be a retelling of these events.

The 1987 Malayalam film Itha Samayamayi, directed by P. G. Viswambharan, was loosely based on this incident. The movie featured Ratheesh, Shari, M. G. Soman, Jagathy Sreekumar, and Innocent in the lead.