Kochi: The Kerala High Court has sought the government’s explanation on the bail plea of actor Dileep, who has been in jail for more than a month in connection with the sexual assault of an actress in February. The court will take up the application on August 18.
Dileep, accused of criminal conspiracy, claims in the petition that a clique in the movie industry has conspired to frame him in the case. The actor’s petition before the court raises crucial allegations against the lapses in the police investigation.
Dileep’s counsel has relied upon the loopholes in the data about the location of the mobile phone towers and the call records to tear into the police version that the actor and the main accused, Pulsar Suni’, were under the same towers on given dates.
The key arguments
The police claim that Dileep and Suni had come under the same tower three times in a year. Dileep’s counsel wonders how that prompts the investigators to come to the conclusion that the actor is guilty in the case. Suni was the driver of actor Mukesh at the time of the alleged conspiracy. That provides ample reasons for him to be in the same location as Dileep. What is so unnatural if two people come under the same tower location, but still three or four kilometers apart?
How could Dileep conspire with Suni in a hotel filled with fellow actors. The two have never contacted each other on phone on the days they were said to be under the same mobile phone tower.
Suni sent Vishnu, the ninth accused in the case, to get the phone number of Dileep’s driver Appunni. This proves that Suni did not have access to Appunni’s or Dileep’s phone numbers. Suni was caught days after the attack on the actress. He could have contacted Dileep or people close to Dileep in the meantime. Had he known Dileep earlier, he would have definitely called up Dileep or aides for money. That did not happened. A hireling is supposed to know the phone numbers of those who put him on the job.
The police say that Appunni and director Nadirshah received calls from the jail. How can Dileep be responsible for this?
Dileep has not even spoken with Suni or Vishnu, who claimed to represent Suni when he called up Nadhirshah. The duo have never called up Dileep. The actor had complained to director general of police Lokanath Behera as soon as Suni made an attempt to contact him. The police claim that Dileep waited for 20 days to lodge a complaint is incorrect. Dileep had lodged a complaint with documentary evidence before he was arrested but the police did not take any action.
The police say that the conspiracy started in 2013. The story that the attack was preceded by four years of conspiracy is hard to believe. Suni has targeted actresses even before. His words don’t have any credibility. He was not acting for anyone in the previous crimes. He was acting on his own. The police have never investigated those cases.
Dileep has never spoken to Suni
The police have not recovered the major pieces of evidence in the case, the mobile phone and the memory card used by Suni to record the torment of the actress. There is no proof to link Dileep with this phone.
Suni had complained against the police on March 24. He had never mentioned Dileep’s name or the conspiracy angle then.
ADGP B Sandhya recorded the entire interrogation of Dileep but she switched off the cameras when the actor mentioned the involvement of director Shrikumar Menon in the case.
The victim has never brought up Dileep’s name.
Vishnu told Nadhirshah that four prominent people in the movie industry were using Suni against Dileep. The four names were revealed. They were two actors, one actress and a producer. However, the final part of the conversation was not recorded. Nadhirshah called Vishnu back for confirmation. Nadirshah never contacted Vishnu again.
The police have no proof to substantiate their claim that the phone containing the visuals of the assault was handed over to Dileep.
The letter Suni is supposed to have written to Dileep was composed by someone else. The letter was written somewhere else. The sentences in the letter do not belong to a criminal such as Suni. The letter could not have come out of the jail without the knowledge of the authorities.
Dileep smells a rat in Manju Warrier’s claim about a conspiracy soon after the attack. He was made an accused even though the victim never mentioned his name.
Dileep says he is not the conspirator he is made to be but the victim of media and some police officers. He was made a villain overnight at the end of a career spanning 140 movies. A charge sheet was given against seven accused, leaving out one person.
He says he has been remanded for more than a month even though the victim or any of the witnesses have not mentioned his name. “I stand my grounds and refuse to dance to anyone’s tunes. Some of my decisions have antagonized some people. Some people in the cinema industry are acting against me. They have been looking for a chance to attack me. They are exacting revenge,” Dilleep’s petition reads.
“Liberty Basheer had considered me his enemy No. 1. It was my interventions that foiled the cinema strike in 2016. Basheer had treated the Kerala Exhibitors’ Federation as his private property. They launched a strike with unnecessary demands. He was cross with me for foiling the strike.
“Soon after the actress was attacked, members of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) had met up in the Durbar Hall ground. Manju Warrier said that there was a criminal conspiracy behind this case. Some of the media distorted that statements to point fingers at me. I was being targeted to serve some people’s vested interests. I had complained to director general of police Lokanath Behera about a conspiracy against me. I mailed the complaint and them met him in person.
“My close friend Nadhirshah received a phone call on 28.3.2017. The person refused to identify himself but wanted to talk to Nadhirshah in person. He did not take it seriously because he used to get so many of such calls because he was a director. More calls followed on 10.4.2017. The caller wanted to meet me and Nadhirshah in person. He told Nadirshah that it was related to the attack on the actress. That call was not recorded because Nadhirshah’s phone did not have a recording facility. Nadhirshah put his SIM into the phone of one Nazeer and called the number back. The caller introduced himself as Vishnu and said he was calling on behalf of Suni.
“Vishnu said four prominent people in the movie industry were using Suni against Dileep. He named the four people. They included two actors, one actress and a producer. I had listened to the recording later. The last part of the call containing Nadhirshah’s voice was not recorded. Since we wanted evidence, Nadhirshah called up the number again and asked about the same things. However, Nadhirshah had never taken another call from them or called up them.
“I called up Behera with this evidence and passed on the two numbers on WhatsApp. During the puja of ‘Dinkan’, I told Behera in person about the phone calls received by my manager Appunni and Nadhirshah. He said he wanted a fresh complaint and the recordings of the calls.
“I had just returned from Teni after a shooting when the Aluva police superintendent asked me to go to the Aluva Police Club on June 28. I was told that ADGP B Sandhya wanted to meet me and to ask about the complaint I had sent to the DGP. Nadhirshah was also called to the police club. We never thought it was for interrogating us. Everything turned upside down when we reached the police club. Sandhya, SP Sudarshan and Perumbavoor circle inspector Baiju Poulose questioned us. As the news leaked out, a team of mediapersons reached the spot. By evening, all television channels started reporting live from the club that Dileep and Nadhirshah were being questioned. The interrogation started in the afternoon and went on until 1:30 am the next day, for more than 13 hours. All this while, visual media and online media were publishing reports that suggested that we were arrested. The special investigation team did this deliberately to create an impression that we were involved in the case. The then DGP T.P. Senkumar had objected to the interrogation.
'Meenakshi chose to be with Dileep'
“I had taken care of my daughter Meenakshi all this while. She will turn 18 in a few months. A father cannot even think of torturing a colleague or encourage such an act. When I separated from Manju Warrier, Meenakshi chose to be with me. That was proof of my good conduct.
“I was questioned on the eve of the inauguration of a new association of exhibitors. There is a conspiracy to end my career. There are influential people behind it. Big budget movies such as Ramaleela could not be released because I am in jail. Movies such as Kammara Sambhavam and Professor Dinkan are left midway. I have accepted advance for many other movies.”
The bail application calls for an investigation into the relation between ADGP Sandhya and Manju Warrier, suggesting that the relation had something to do with Manju’s allegation of a criminal conspiracy at the initial stage of investigation. Sandhya interrogated Dileep without keeping investigating officer IG Dinendra Kashyap in the loop. Sandhya switched off the camera when Dileep mentioned the relation between Manju and director Shrikumar Menon, the petition alleged.