There has been a lot of hue and cry in the past few days circling the careless and often insensitive comments by film personalities about the abduction and assault of a female actor in Kochi. On Wednesday, the Special Investigation team summoned popular star Dileep to record his statement in connection with the case. The actor involved has said she would consider filing a defamation case against the male actor who stated that she was having a cozy relationship with her tormentor Pulsar Suni. In a written statement on Tuesday, her first formal reaction to the media since the incident, the actor said, “I am ready to pursue legal action, if needed, for making such baseless allegations about me.”
“It came to my notice that an actor has stated that Pulsar Suni, the accused in the case, and I were friends and I should have been careful in selecting friends. It is matter of great distress,” she said. Clearly, she was referring to Dileep, also under a cloud of suspicion in connection with the case, who mentioned in a private television show that the actor subjected to abduction and assault was having a friendly relationship with the accused Pulsar Suni.
On Wednesday, Dileep, however, told media persons that he came to depose the police about the complaint filed by him in connection with the attempt to blackmail him. The police team is also recording the statement of actor-director Nadirshah, a close friend of Dileep and Dileep’s manager. Dileep told reporters that he is not ready for trial by media and he would tell the police whatever he wanted to reveal in the matter.
At the time of filing this story, Dileep is still being questioned — five and a half hours so far. The actress had said that the probe is going on well. “I have full faith in the police.”
“I have stated everything connected with the incident honestly before the police. I have presented myself before the police whenever they called me in connection with the incident,” she said.
On the new revelations in connection with the case, she said, “Many names are coming out in connection with the incident. I came to know of these things through the media. I don’t have any proof with me to say that the names of persons currently doing rounds are behind the incident. I also don’t have any proof to say otherwise too,” she said. “I have not shared anything with the police with the intention of saving or indicting anybody. I have not mentioned any names in social media.”
The Women in Cinema Collective, an organisation of women in the Malayalam film industry, has condemned film personalities involved in naming the said female actor. “Let the investigation go forward and we have no opinion about the police enquiry. We are confident that it is going in the right direction. Our only concern is that when there is a girl involved, it is against the law to say anything against the girl. We are not blaming any person but requesting the entire community to please stop talking against the girl,” says Bina Paul, Member of the Women in cinema collective.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Collective said, “It is illegal and highly condemnable to express opinions defamatory and degrading to the person who has survived the assault when the case proceedings connected with the incident in its preliminary stage”.
Actor Salim Kumar and Aju Varghese, as if in response, tendered apologies for mentioning the identity of the female actor in their Facebook posts and withdrew the same on Tuesday. Salim Kumar, who was in the soup over his FB post in which he wrote that the victim should be subjected to a lie detector test and later took it back, says, “Since Dileep is being interrogated, let it happen, there is no point in me commenting anything about it. It is also not a nice thing to mention the victim’s name. And about my Facebook post, I have only taken back a particular point; I have not taken back anything else.”
Actor-director Lal also expressed regret over Salim Kumar mentioning the name of the actor in his Facebook post and said he had asked him to withdraw the same. Lal also denied reports that he had mentioned the female actor was in friendship with Pulsar Suni.
With inputs from Deepthi Sreenivasan, KP Sethunath...