As the Kerala police threw a cordon around the Aluva police club and an army of mediapersons gathered at the gate, it was a literal reversal of fortune for the 'fond son' of AMMA, Dileep. A crowd had gathered outside the police club, the hotbed of activity in recent times, as a police jeep bearing the actor rolled in. The police had sent in a 'diversionary' camouflage van, with blinds on all sides, to tactically throw mediapersons into a speculative tizzy.
As the police sources confided that they had fresh evidence to establish conspiracy, reports came in that film-maker Nadhirshah and two others were being simultaneously questioned at another location. Sources said the trio would also be arrested soon.
The investigation team, headed by inspector-general of police (IGP) Dinendra Kashyap and supervised by additional director general of police (ADGP) B. Sandhya, had questioned Dileep and Nadhirshah for 13 hours at the police club. The jocular rant in cinematic circles by then was that actors, looking for instant publicity, were loitering around the club in the hope of being called in by the police.
The arrest not only puts an end to weeks of speculation but also reaffirms the common man's faith in the law-enforcement. It was an unsavory sight as the police went from location to location, looking for an elusive memory card, which had the photos of the victim actress.
The Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) placed itself on a crumbling branch as it at once tried to stand behind its 'prodigal son' and embrace its 'daughter' (the victim). The AMMA president's posturing as a preacher and high-pedestal sermonizer, failed to salvage the show for Dileep. As if the whole of the nation waited for an assertion from Innocent, he said he had spoken to Dileep and found that 'the son' was innocent.
However, what remains to be seen is how the prosecution brings up the case in court. Legal circles say it is relatively easy to establish and prove a criminal act but immensely difficult to prove a conspiracy. The investigation team is expected to rely heavily on call data records (CDRs), victim's statement, and circumstantial evidence.
As the law takes its course, it needs to be seen as to what the self-proclaimed mother of Malayalam cinema, AMMA, and its president Innocent do to correct course. Would the mother see to it that more of her daughters are not humiliated and brutalized this way?