The investigation team probing the February 17 actress attack case was faced with the unenviable task of gathering evidence to establish conspiracy. Seasoned investigators say it is relatively easier to prove hard crimes with the perpetrators leaving behind ample forensic footprint, which may be produced in court as evidence. It is a lot more harder to prove offenses like conspiracy and fraud.
The investigation team, headed by inspector-general of police (IGP) Dinendra Kashyap, worked hard initially to identify the key perpetrators. Car driver Manikandan's arrest led to history-sheeter and known offender Pulsar Suni, a darling of cinematic sub-circles. The police were on the stake out and arrested Suni soon after. The team then decided to 'break down' Suni by adopting psychological techniques. Suni was kept away from his acquaintances during the remand period. Simultaneously, the police planted moles in the cells to gather information. The entire operation was supervised by a circle inspector.
The police got a hint of Suni breaking down as he tried to get in touch with Dileep's manager Appunni through a coin-box phone on the jail premises. Suni apparently sought 'help' and the police knew that Suni's game was over. For material evidence, the police was already looking for the memory card containing pictures of the victim actress. Suni by then seemed to have an upper hand as he took the police on a virtual Kochi tour. He initially said he had dumped the card in a lake from a Kochi bridge. As the police scanned lakes and waterbodies for the elusive card, Suni hinted that he had handed it over to a relative of Dileep's wife, Kavya Madhavan.
The police raided Kavya Madhavan's boutique in Kochi and reportedly secured the card. The investigation team then tactically submitted a charge sheet mentioning Suni as the prime accused. Suni, under the impression that the investigation was winding to a close, opened up to new acquaintances in jail. This led the police to explore the conspiracy angle in detail.
The police team then had to painstakingly go through thousands of call data records to identify tower locations. This helped the police pinpoint discrepancies in the statements given by Dileep, Nadhirshah, Suni and others. Armed with such data, the police confronted Dileep again to call his claims of being present elsewhere bluff. This was crucial as it obliterates Dileep's chances of raising alibis in court during prosecution.