Dileep arrest: How conversations in jail led to conspiracy charge against star

Leading actor Dileep, who ranks only behind Kerala’s two “superstars” Mohanlal and Mammootty in terms of popularity and box-office draw, was arrested in Kochi for his alleged role in the conspiracy behind the abduction and assault of a well-known actress in February.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: July 11, 2017 7:40 am
Dileep arrest, malayalam star, Kerala actor arrest, kavya madhavan, pulsar suni, manju, “Dileep was arrested based on evidence collected by the probe team. The investigation is still on and more arrests cannot be ruled out,’’ said Kerala DGP Loknath Behera. (File photo)

The Malayalam film industry has had its share of controversies over the years but what happened on Monday would rank as one of its biggest ever.

Leading actor Dileep, who ranks only behind Kerala’s two “superstars” Mohanlal and Mammootty in terms of popularity and box-office draw, was arrested in Kochi for his alleged role in the conspiracy behind the abduction and assault of a well-known actress in February.

The 48-year-old, who has acted in over 130 films in a career spanning two decades, was summoned by a special police team led by IGP Dinendra Kashyap this morning. Following interrogation, which lasted through the day, his arrest was recorded under the charge of conspiracy.

Police had earlier questioned Dileep’s brother Anoop, manager Appunni, and his close friend and business associate Nadirshah, who is also a film director.

“Dileep was arrested based on evidence collected by the probe team. The investigation is still on and more arrests cannot be ruled out,’’ said Kerala DGP Loknath Behera.

According to police sources, investigations have revealed that Dileep allegedly “gave the supari” to attack the actress due to “personal enmity”.

The victim was once close to Dileep’s family, at a time when he was married to popular actress Manju Warrier. But this relationship is believed to have soured after Dileep and Warrier formalised a mutual separation in 2015, citing irrevocable differences. Dileep is now married to another popular actress Kavya Madhavan.

Police sources said Dileep believed that the victim played a role in creating discord in his marital life with Warrier. And, according to them, the conspiracy to target the actress was allegedly hatched in 2013, the year Dileep filed a divorce petition in a family court.

Read the story in Malayalam

Police said that Dileep’s arrest was based on details provided by the key accused in the case, Sunil Kumar alias Pulsar Suni, a driver linked to various film crew in the Malayalam industry. On February 17, Kumar allegedly intercepted the car in which the actress was travelling in Kochi, assaulted her inside the vehicle for around two hours and recorded visuals of the act on a mobile phone.

Later, police sources said, call records revealed links between Kumar, Nadirshah and Appunni. Kumar is also believed to have contacted Appunni over phone from jail, with Dileep later claiming that he was being blackmailed for Rs 1.5 crore by the accused.

Following the alleged assault, police arrested and chargesheeted a seven-member gang, led by Kumar, on charges of abduction, rape and attempted blackmail. But they continued the probe, with the actress claiming that Kumar had revealed that the abduction was a “supari” and asked her to “cooperate”. The gang had made a few aborted attempts to assault the actress earlier, sources claimed.

At the time, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had ruled out a conspiracy behind the attack, and the involvement of film professionals.

But last month, investigations took a new turn when a fellow inmate of Kumar at the special jail in Kochi, Jinson, claimed that the accused had told him about the conspiracy. Jinson also claimed that he had heard Kumar making calls to Appunni, demanding financial help. Taking the probe closer to Dileep, a letter purportedly written by Kumar to the actor, demanding money, reached TV channels.

Dileep, who began his career as a mimicry artiste before graduating to leading roles with comic shades, has consistently maintained his innocence, even offering to undergo a lie-detector test.

But on June 28, he and Nadirshah were questioned by police for 13 hours in Kochi, raising the possibility for the first time that he may be arrested. Last week, police questioned Kumar again which, sources said, helped the probe team ascertain the actor’s role in the conspiracy.

Sources said Kumar felt “abandoned” by Dileep, and wanted to submit a detailed statement in court “to expose everything”. “It was to avoid further embarrassment that police arrested Dileep,” said sources.

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  1. G
    Jul 17, 2017 at 8:20 pm
    Its a conspiracy leading to actor's arrest. Evidence like mobile phone, or some image of suni standing behind somewhere in the location shouldn't have firstly led to actor's arrest. Actor has been a suspect from day 1 of the crime and its a propaganda by the leading media industry just to increase their news TRP. From a crime scene its evident that Suni is the main suspect and him surrendering himself to the police led to arrest. Say if its planned by Dileep, he wouldn't have surrendered himself rather would have extorted monies from Dileep. It also appears as though Suni has been told to do so by some-one, secondly where Suni has in jail had access to phone, tell his unknown inmate about this issue and specifying that Dileep is the main planner appears very dramatic. If Suni as claimed is a seasoned criminal, I would think he would know how where to extort money and doesn't necessarily need to submit himself for arrest. Its paid media politics , loss to victim wrongly accused
    1. R
      Jul 12, 2017 at 7:45 pm
      known for women being abused often in this field for many years ! because of media and tech its being exposed now a days
      1. P
        Jul 11, 2017 at 8:58 pm
        Do you arrest any 1 by listening to seasoned criminal. can 1.5 crores be given for just assault. Even mumbai rates for murder is so low. Dileep is the only guy offered to be tested by 'lie detector'
        1. R
          Jul 12, 2017 at 8:05 am
          Here we go again! The apologists and blind fans of Dileep are back. How many women should this man wrong before he is put behind bars? Manju Warrier was the first. He married her when she was 18, and had an affair with her when she was only 16. That's statutory rape and child ual grooming. This creep is worse than any seasoned criminal.
          1. P
            Jul 13, 2017 at 7:28 pm
            hi madam, i m no fan this guy,ok. i m a well seasoned lawyer in delhi. not the 1 who get carried away.. I just asked based on Evidence Act of India. if dileep has done it hang him. Sunil is seasoned. He z caught doing it. Did u ask his aim? to extract big sum from this actress threatening expose of Clip.. This type z done in mumbai etc on 2nd rung actresses. If Dileep had so much anger , he wd do it in 2011-12, when he n his wife faught. by 2013 he filed divorce, so no anger on other girl as he left wife. Even in Arushi murder case , parents refused to undergo poligraph test. Here Dileep z ready to get poligraph done.. It gives 92 clarity now..No hiding of mind possible. Please read Evidence act talk like a professional.. tc
        2. B
          Jul 11, 2017 at 6:55 pm
          The Law should take its course Oe hopes that the Kerala Police and prosecution will acquit themselves in this case
          1. S
            Subash Misra
            Jul 11, 2017 at 11:51 am
            Looks can be deceptive. Maximum punishment, if proved guilty.
            1. Y
              Jul 11, 2017 at 10:48 am
              Bravo to the survivor!! 'Truth is always built on stone foundation that stands firm in fierce storms, while lies are built on sand that will collapse with just a slight whip of the sea breeze' ....
              1. V
                Jul 11, 2017 at 10:47 am
                This case came to light only because the victim was a popular person and there were a lot of strong people to support her. Imagine if it was a normal citizen. Just imagine if there is a chance for more victims which these people could have buried it easily.
                1. G
                  Jul 11, 2017 at 10:11 am
                  Greed has overtaken Malayalam Film industry. Most actor and actress from this industry wants to control everything. They are into so much of business from hotels to tourism to money laundering to real estate along with supplying LSD drugs, they have their fingers in every pie. The growth of the real estate industry in most parts of Kerala especially Kochi and Trivandrum is mainly due to the big hands from the Malayalam Industry. Every piece of agricultural land in and around Kochi is already bought. From around 60 movies/year 15 years ago we have 150 releases in Malayalam every year. Most of the movies are financed through shady deals. Someone has to apply a break here to control the greed.
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