Ever since news broke out in February about the abduction and alleged sexual assault of a prominent woman actor from the Malayalam industry, actor Dileep's name has been doing the rounds in connection with the crime.
The rumours refused to die down even as Pulsar Suni, the prime accused in the case, was arrested. Kerala CM Pinnarayi Vijayan had rubbished stories about a possible conspiracy, too.
Dileep took to Facebook a few days after the assault, which took place on 17 February, and claimed that the media was "cooking up" stories about him with malicious intent:
This was an incident which we never thought would happen in the Malayalam film industry. Over the last few days, AMMA (actors’ association) and the industry as a whole had condemned the assault on our colleague.
Dileep added, “But, many digital media organisations and few newspapers have been targeting me over the incident. They have cooked up stories revolving around me, with or without taking my name.”
In the same month, after his name was mentioned in a media report, he filed a complaint with the DGP claiming that the media was defaming him
In April, Dileep said in an interview to Manorama Online that while the woman actor had been physically harassed, he was being emotionally harassed because of the incident over several months and he was being unfairly targeted and framed.
The actor and his associates have since denied his involvement in the case to multiple news channels, even indulging in victim blaming. In June, Dileep claimed that the prime accused, Pulsar Suni, had blackmailed him to pay Rs 1.5 crores if he wanted his name to be kept out of the case.
Towards the end of the month, the actor was grilled by the police for 13 hours regarding his alleged involvement even though Dileep claimed that he'd been called for questioning regarding his complaint about the blackmail.
On 1 July, the police raided Kavya Madhavan’s shop Laksyah in Kakkanad based on a letter sent by Pulsar Suni in which he mentions visiting a shop in the area twice.
On 10 July, Dileep was taken into custody at the Aluva police station and arrested for his alleged role in the conspiracy.
(You can read the original story first published on TNM here. The story has been republished with permission.)