Over the last couple of months, the sensational abduction and sexual molestation of an actress in her own vehicle in the bylanes of Kochi in Kerala has once again brought to light the murky affairs bedevilling the Malayalam film industry. The arrest and remand of popular actor Dileep, the second accused in the case, gives new impetus to an investigation that at one time seemed to have stalled.
A growing public backlash with demands that CM Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF government act decisively seems to have got the Kerala Police moving. On Monday morning, police picked up Dileep and detained him for more questioning. The arrest was officially confirmed on Monday evening. The case has sharply divided the entertainment industry in Kerala with claims that some of the Malayalam film industry bigwigs could be behind the alleged incident.
If charged and convicted of their roles in the alleged crime, Dileep who is presently a guest of the state at Aluva sub-jail, and his alleged accomplices, could be staring at lengthy stints behind bars.
The actor, who has acted in over 130 movies in Malayalam, is expected to be charged with the alleged crime as the police claim to be in possession of 'irrefutable proof'. Actor Nadrishah is also being interrogated in the case.
Back on February 17, the actress, who is well known in South India, was kidnapped and subsequently molested by main accused Pulsar Suni and his gang while she was on her way to Kochi from Thrissur. Pulsar Suni was nabbed within a few days of the alleged crime. Over the months, there have been claims that high profile personalities from the Malayalam film industry were involved in the abduction of the actress.
The provocation is said to have been over 'personal and business deals' between Dileep and the actress, which must have gone sour. Pulsar Suni and his gang got into an altercation with the actress, and things unfortunately escalated, with the actress being shoved into a car and allegedly assaulted before being dumped by the gang.
Nabbed by Kerala Police for his involvement in the alleged crime, the investigations seemed to have hit a dead end, though the police insisted that their investigations were on track and they were not afraid of even going after the 'big fish', if necessary.
Dileep always maintained his innocence. In fact, he seemed to be putting the blame back on the victim, whom he suggested had befriended the accused and brought shame upon herself.
After new DGP Lokanath Behera took over, the case has been seen to be gathering pace. Meanwhile, actor Dileep's world seems to be crumbling like a pack of cards. His restaurants, 'Dhe Puttu' was attacked by a group of people in Kochi and Kozhikhode after the news of his arrest broke -- a paradigm shift from 'hero' to 'zero'.