Mumbai: Malayalam movie star Dileep, who was arrested on Monday in connection to the kidnapping and sexual assault of a popular actress in February, has been sent to a 14-day judicial custody. Dileep will be kept at the Aluva sub-jail, in the outskirts of Kochi, around 25 kms from the city.
His lawyer, Ram Kumar, said that they will move for bail on Wednesday.
The 48-year-old actor, who is often regarded as the third biggest actor Malayalam film industry has ever produced, after Mamooty and Mohan Lal, reportedly said the morning before his arrest that he was innocent.
“I am innocent and I will prove my innocence. I was trapped,” said Dileep. On Monday evening, he was was arrested after multiple rounds of questioning at an undisclosed location.
According to reports, crowd gathered outside the jail today and shouted slogans of ‘Welcome to Central Jail’. The actor’s last release in 2016 was titled ‘Welcome To Central Jail’.
The police believe that the actor had ‘personal enmity’ with the actress.
“Dileep has been arrested after prima facie evidence of a conspiracy in the case of a prominent actress from the state being kidnapped and molested,” Loknath Behera, a high rank police officer, told reporters on Monday.
On February 17, the actress was abducted and molested by unidentified men when she was returning home from a shoot in Ernakulam district in Kerala.
The incident took place when the men stopped and hijacked her car near Athani in Angamaly. The actress was molested in a moving car till they reached Palarivattom, which is roughly 25 kms away. The accused men got down at Palarivattom and fled in another car.
The actress informed the police that her former driver, Martin, was among those who forcefully entered her car. The police have taken the driver into custody while another accused Sunil, who also worked for the actress as a driver, is absconding.
The gang also took video and photos of the actress while threatening her of dire consequences inside the running car. The police have registered a case of kidnapping and molestation.
After the incident, six people, including Pulsar Suni, a driver the actress had fired in the past, were arrested.
Last month, Dileep was questioned for close to 13 hours after the claimed that he and his director friend Nadirshah were being blackmailed for 1.5 Cr by the kidnappers that incuded Pulsar Suni, the main accused. On several occasions, Suni was reportedly spotted on the sets of Dileep’s films and the duo has reportedly known each other for years. Last week, Pulsar Suni told reporters, “A big shark will fall,” after his second jail sentence.
Police were reportedly informed that Suni was paid to attack the actress. Kerela police have also raided a boutique—Lakshya—owned by Dileep’s wife in search of criucial evidence after the main accused took the actor’s name in his confession.
The actress recently spoke about taking legal action ‘against an actor’ who had wrongly suggested that she was friends with the prime accused and that she should be careful of who she befriends. She had said, “It's been brought to my knowledge that an actor has said that the accused in this case - Pulsar Suni and I were friends and that one should be careful while befriending people. This has pained me. If such baseless allegations are made against me, I am even willing to take legal action, if required.”
Although she did not take names but it was pretty evident that she was taking about her co-star Dileep.
On Monday evening, a hotel owned by the star in Kochi was attacked and ransacked by an angry mob.
In a Facebook post, Women in Cinema Collective organisation issued a statement saying, “We want justice for our woman colleague...Let the investigation progress, evidence be collected and let the truth come out.”...