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Monday, October 19, 2020

Kerala actress attack case: Approver claims threat to life, files case

The Bekkal police in Kasaragod confirmed it has filed an FIR based on Vibin's complaint, and is investigating the matter by examining letters and phone records.

Written by Vishnu Varma | Kochi | Updated: September 29, 2020 7:29:31 pm
Dileep, PriyadarshanThe approver said that he received three anonymous letters posted from different parts of Ernakulam district threatening to kill him if he does not make a statement in favour of actor Dileep

A key approver in the case relating to the 2017 abduction and sexual assault of an actress in Kerala has filed a police complaint, alleging he was threatened with death if he deposed in court against actor Dileep, the eighth accused in the case.

The Bekkal police in Kasaragod confirmed it has filed an FIR based on Vibin’s complaint and is investigating the matter by examining letters and phone records. The case has been filed under sections 195(a) (threatening a person to give false evidence) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC though no one has been charged yet.

Vibin Lal told indianexpress.com that he received three anonymous letters posted from different parts of Ernakulam district, threatening to kill him if he does not make a statement in favour of Dileep during the ongoing trial in a special court in Kochi. His uncle also received phone calls relaying the same threats, he said.

“The letters didn’t have any names or addresses. But it simply made it clear that if I did not depose in favour of actor Dileep, my days were numbered. My relatives have received phone calls with the same threats. But I think since we didn’t comply with those threats, they started sending me letters and I felt we should lodge a police complaint,” said Vibin.

“The police said they are investigating. We have handed over the letters and recordings of the phone calls,” he said.

Vibin alleged that what started off as a request to change his statement in exchange for financial favours later became of a threatening nature.

In February, 2017, a leading actress in Kerala was abducted and sexually assaulted in a moving car near Nedumbassery by a group of men. The police probing the case arrested Sunil Kumar, the first accused in the case, who told them that he had carried out the attack on orders of Dileep who wanted to settle personal scores against the actress.

Vibin, who shared a jail cell with Kumar, told the police that he had written the letter that Kumar sent to Dileep asking for his payment for the attack on the actress. It was following the letter’s discovery that Dileep’s alleged role in the conspiracy behind the abduction came to light and he was arraigned in the case. Vibin later turned police approver in the case. He is slated to depose before the court next month.

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