The crime branch wing of Kerala Police today raided actor Dileep and his brother’s residence and also the office of his production house, Grand Production Company, in connection with a fresh case against them for allegedly conspiring to endanger the lives of investigation officers in a sexual assault case of an actress in 2017. Dileep is also accused in the case.
The case was registered on Sunday based on a purported audio clip of Dileep, which was released by a TV channel recently in which the actor was allegedly heard conspiring to attack the investigating officials.
Director Balachandra Kumar, who had recently made some startling revelations against Dileep in the actress assault case through media, had also given some corroborative statements to the Crime Branch.
Mr Kumar had claimed that there were multiple discussions on a conspiracy to attack the investigating officers.
“If the matter came up only once, then that might be an emotional outburst. But the same matter was discussed many times at many places which means there was proper planning,” news agency PTI reported him saying.
Mr Kumar had on November 25 filed a complaint with the Chief Minister’s Office in Kerala, making scathing allegations against Dileep, stating that he was an eye witness to key accused Pulsar Sunni being seen at accused Actor Dileep’s house. The complainant also alleged that Dileep had seen a video recording of the sexual assault of the kidnapped actress along with a group of others and had also provided excerpts of recorded audio conversations at Dileep’s house, including alleged attempts to influence key witnesses.
There have been no details yet on what the Crime Branch has retrieved or was expecting to retrieve.
A top Crime Branch official said that three teams of officials were dispatched to carry out the raids simultaneously at the three locations.
However, according to visuals shown on news channels, the raiding teams had to wait for some time outside Dileep’s residence and his company office for them to be opened.
The visuals also showed some officials clambering over the gate of Dileep’s house to get inside.
The gate was subsequently opened by his sister, sources said.
The company office was also opened, after some delay, by the staff there, the sources added.
On Tuesday, the high court had asked the police not to take any action against Dileep, his brother, and brother-in-law till January 14 after they moved a joint plea for anticipatory bail in the new case.
In his anticipatory bail plea, the actor has claimed that the latest case has been lodged on a complaint by one of the investigating officers in the actress sexual assault case as the officer did not want to be examined during the trial. The accused actor has claimed that the allegations against him, of conspiring against police officials, are a “mockery”.
The actor and five others have been booked under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, including Sections 116 (abetment), 118 (concealing design to commit offense), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 34 (criminal act done by several people).
In their plea, the actor and his relatives also claimed that the complaint made against them by the officer – DySP (Crime Branch) Baiju Paulose– was “false” and the allegations in the FIR, registered on the basis of the complaint, were “wholly false and baseless”.
They have also claimed that the intention behind the registration of the case was to take them into custody and humiliate them before the public.
The survivor had also written to the Kerala Chief Minister and the state police chief seeking justice. She had sought reinvestigation in the case against Dileep, days after the film director made fresh allegations against him.
“The survivor wants the allegations to be probed and has the right to know what is the truth and what is not,” a source close to the survivor had told NDTV.
The survivor – an actor who worked in Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam films – was abducted and allegedly molested inside 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. The entire act was filmed by some of the accused to blackmail her.
There are 10 accused in the case and initially, police arrested seven people. Dileep was arrested subsequently and let out on bail later.