A day after IPS officer S Sreejith was transferred from the Crime Branch of Kerala police to be transport commissioner, the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) posted on their page about their concern regarding the sudden move.
Sreejith as Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) of the state Crime Branch was supervising the team making further investigations into the allegation that actor Dileep – accused in the actor assault case of 2017 – had conspired to kill the police officers investigating the case.
The WCC, formed in the aftermath of the attack on the woman actor, expressed concern at the timing of the transfer, coming when the investigations in the case were reaching the final leg.
The reshuffle in the department – two other transfers were announced along with that of Sreejith – breaks all hope, the WCC said.
"Removing the investigating official at a time the court had allowed one and half months more for further probing in the case [in light of new revelations] is as disappointing as the anti-climax scenes in police movies. It was at a juncture when justice had seemed impossible that new turning points formed in the case. The evidence appeared to prove true the concern of our [survivor] colleague that the defence was trying to sabotage the case," said the post by WCC.
The Dileep Case
One of the accused in the case – Dileep – is a popular actor who is alleged to have masterminded the crime. After he came out on bail in late 2017, several witnesses produced by the prosecution had changed their statements and turned hostile.
The trial in the case, delayed several times with petitions by Dileep and his counsel, was finally reaching its end when Balachandrakumar, a filmmaker allegedly close to Dileep, came out with new revelations last year. He produced audio clips allegedly containing Dileep's voice that could prove incriminating to the actor. The police, in the light of the new evidence, had requested the court for further probing and was granted permission for it. Sreejith was heading the investigation.
However, Dileep's advocates raised complaints against Sreejith, alleging that he was fabricating evidence in the case.
"It was when the investigation was proceeding well that the defence counsel went to the government with their complaint and got the investigating official removed. It gives us cause to be concerned. We request that a pro-woman state like Kerala should be alert to this attempt of overturning the case," WCC wrote.
(Published in arrangement with The News Minute.)