The Malayalam actor in police custody.

The Malayalam actor in police custody.

Malayalam superstar Dileep sent to 14-day custody for kidnap, sexual assault

Young actress abducted and sexually assaulted in Feb on Thrissur-Kochi road

Prashun Bhaumik | Aluva (Kerala) | 11 July, 2017 | 11:50 PM

Malayalam superstar Dileep, who was arrested in connection with the abduction and molestation of a popular actress in February, was remanded in custody on Tuesday for 14 days and was removed as member from various film associations.

“I am innocent and I will prove my innocence. I was trapped,” the actor, who has featured in over 130 films in the past 25 years, said before being taken to the Aluva sub-jail.

On Monday, the 48-year-old star was questioned and later the police probe team recorded the arrest of the actor, following which he was brought to the Aluva Police Club.

The police decided to arrest Dileep based on 19 pieces of evidence that they were able to gather in connection with the abduction of the young actress on February 17 when she was travelling from Thrissur to Kochi by road.

After almost two hours, she was dumped near the house of director-turned-actor Lal, who upon hearing her harrowing experience, informed the police. She was reported to have been molested enroute.

A week after the incident, the police probe team arrested Pulsar Suni and his aides, who allegedly carried out the kidnapping.

Trouble began for Dileep last month after his name surfaced in a jail inmate’s letter who had shared the cell with Suni.

Following this, Dileep was called for questioning. During the marathon questioning for 13 hours, he claimed that he did not know Suni and was let off. But by then the police had established the fact that Suni was at the shooting location of Dileep’s film in November at Thrissur. A photo of Suni at the film locales was released by TV channels.

Counsel for Dileep, K. Ramkumar, said on Tuesday that the actor’s bail application would be taken up by the Angamaly court on Friday. The police will also move an application for Dileep’s custody, for further questioning.

Meanwhile, executives of Association of Malayalam Movies Artistes (AMMA) — which had come under heavy attack from several quarters over its stand on the issue — removed Dileep as treasurer and member.

The AMMA executive took the decision at an emergency meeting at the house of superstar Mammootty, who told the media: “We wish to state that we have always been with the victim and will continue to support her. Please don’t mistake us, we are for the welfare of our members. Let the police go ahead with their probe.”

The Producers Association also met and decided to remove Dileep from their body and Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA), also decided to remove him from the rolls.

Meanwhile, a new body of theatre owners which was recently floated by Dileep is also mulling its future course of action.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said law will take its course.

“Anyone who has done a wrong, irrespective of the stature, will be proceeded against. The probe is continuing and no one who did a wrong will be allowed to escape,” said Vijayan.

Dileep began his career as third assistant to a few directors. Then he became an actor and achieved superstardom with films like “Thenkasipattanam”, “Joker”, “Ishtam”, “Mazhathullikkilukkam”, “Kalyanaraman”, “Meesa Madhavan” and “Kunjikoonan”.

A hugely talented mimicry artiste, Dileep had in his initial days formed a troupe, after which he landed a debut role — a cameo — in the film “Ennodishtam Koodamo”. He then experienced a steady rise to stardom, and got a further boost after he married the hugely popular and talented actress Manju Warrier in 1998.

Dileep also launched his own production company in mid-2000, following which he acquired his own movie halls and started becoming an integral part of various film organisations.

In January 2015, he and his wife parted ways, and in November last year, he married Kavya Madhavan — another hugely popular actress.