Actor Dileep arrives at the Crime Branch office Kalamassery in Kochi, Sunday, Jan 23, 2022, in connection with a case registered against him and five others for allegedly threatening officials probing the sexual assault of an actress in 2017. (Photo: PTI)
Kochi: The interrogation of actor Dileep and others continued at the Crime Branch office here for the second consecutive day on Monday in a case registered against them for allegedly threatening officials probing the sexual assault of an actress in 2017.
The actor and four others--his brother, brother-in-law, driver and a friend, appeared before the crime branch officials at 9 AM for interrogation as directed by the Kerala High Court.
The accused were questioned for 11 hours on Sunday by five separate teams, the statements were recorded and the interrogation was monitored by ADGP S Sreejith and IG Gopesh Agarwal.
Meanwhile, Crime Branch sources said the agency was close to making someone an approver in case. It is also learnt that the investigating team will be interrogating the accused with regard to certain contradictions in their yesterday's statements.
The High Court, while considering the anticipatory bail plea, on Saturday granted interim protection to Dileep from arrest but directed him and other accused to appear before the investigating officers on January 23, 24 and 25 for interrogation.
Crime Branch sources had earlier said that the interrogation of the accused will be recorded as they suspect that the actor and others might approach the court alleging harassment during questioning.
Justice Gopinath P had directed the accused to fully cooperate with the investigation and directed them to be available for interrogation from 9 AM to 8 PM on the three days.
The court had also warned the accused that in case of non-cooperation, the interim protection from arrest will be lifted and custody will be granted to the Crime Branch.
The court had directed the public prosecutor to submit a report on the interrogation and material evidence collected in a sealed cover on January 27, when the matter would be heard again.
Besides Dileep, his younger brother P Sivakumar and brother-in-law T N Suraj, driver Appu and a friend Baiju Chengamanadu were asked to present themselves for interrogation.
The Crime Branch had, on January 9, registered the case on a complaint filed by an investigating officer based on a purported audio clip of Dileep, which was released by a TV channel in which the actor was allegedly heard conspiring to attack the official.
The actor and five others were booked under various provisions of the IPC, including Sections 116 (abetment), 118 (concealing design to commit offence), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 34 (criminal act done by several people).
Dileep has claimed that this apprehension was borne out of the past conduct of the complainant officer who has been trying to falsely implicate him in the sexual assault case.
The actress who has worked in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films was abducted and allegedly molested in her car for two hours by some of the accused, who had forced their way into the vehicle on the night of February 17, 2017 and later escaped in a busy area. The entire act was filmed by some of the accused to blackmail the actress.
There are 10 accused in the case and initially, police arrested seven people. Dileep was arrested subsequently and released on bail later.