Leading Malayalam actor Dileep, arrested for his alleged role in the case of abduction and sexual assault of a well-known actress in February this year, was sent to 14-day judicial custody on Tuesday morning. Dileep was arrested on Monday evening from Kochi.
Last week, the 48-year-old actor along with film director Nadirshah was questioned by police for 13 hours in connection with the case. Police had also raided the business premises of his wife Kavya Madhavan.
The actress was allegedly attacked in a moving car on February 19 in Kochi. According to police, this was the second attempt to attack her.
In April, the police had charge-sheeted the supari gang that had attacked the actress and, in June, after a letter purportedly written by the gang leader, Sunil Kumar alias Pulsar Suni, to Dileep seeking financial aid was exposed, police reopened the conspiracy behind the attack. After this, Dileep had also complained of being blackmailed by Sunil Kumar seeking money.
Earlier, Dileep’s brother Anoop, manager Appunni, and his close friend and Nadirshah were also questioned by the police.
Kerala DGP Loknath Behera said, “Dileep was arrested based on evidence collected by the probe team. The investigation is still on and more arrests cannot be ruled out.’’
Investigations have so far revealed that due to “personal enmity”, Dileep allegedly “gave the supari” to attack the actress, said police.
Dileep was earlier married to popular actress Manju Warrier. At that time, the actress who has been assaulted was close to his family. But after Dileep and Warrier formalised a mutual separation in 2015, citing irrevocable differences, this relationship got soured.
Dileep ranks only behind Kerala’s two “superstars” Mohanlal and Mammootty in terms of popularity and box-office draw and has acted in over 130 films in a career spanning two decades.