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Actor Dileep, other accused grilled for 11 hours; interrogation to continue tomorrow

The actor and other accused will have to appear before the Crime Branch again on Monday and Tuesday at 9 am according to the directions of the Kerala High Court.

By: PTI | Kochi |
January 23, 2022 10:31:57 pm
Malayalam actor DileepDileep was arrested subsequently and released on bail. (File photo)

Actor Dileep and others, who appeared before the Crime Branch office here on Sunday in a case registered against them for allegedly threatening officials probing the sexual assault of an actress in 2017, were interrogated for 11 hours.

The actor and other accused will have to appear before the Crime Branch again on Monday and Tuesday at 9 am according to the directions of the Kerala High Court.

Dileep has reportedly told the Crime Branch officials that film director Balachandra Kumar had threatened him. ADGP S Sreejith and IG Gopesh Agarwal led the interrogation. Sources said five teams were formed to separately interrogate the five accused and the statements were recorded.

“The statements of the accused are being recorded. As of now, they are answering all the questions. However, whether they are providing us with proper answers or not is a matter which we will have to verify later. We will record the statements of more people if required. Those who have not applied for anticipatory bail in this matter will also be questioned,” Sreejith told the media.

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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 the interrogation will be recorded as they suspect that the actor and other accused 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 also 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 among others 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 Indian Penal Code, 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 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.

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