Kochi: The police are scrutinizing a surge of pro-Dileep propoganda and the cyberdome is already after a public relations firm which launched a blitzkrieg on online media and social networking sites to counter the public wrath triggered by accusations that the actor had plotted the attack on a fellow actress in February.
With the arrest of Dileep in connection with the attack on his fellow actress, skeletons have started tumbling out of the closets, it seems. The controversy over the demand that Dileep’s role should be investigated in the death of actor Kalabhavan Mani is throwing off fumes and more contoversies related to Malayalam film industry has come up like the demand for a reprobe into yesteryear actor Sreenath's death.
Though Dileep’s name had started doing the rounds ever since the news of the attack on actress broke out, his arrest on Monday precipitated his fall from grace. Social media was rife with news and views against the actor. Large crowds gathered to boo him whenever the police took him out of the jail.
However, there has been a susceptible effort to recover some of the lost ground, with trolls appearing on social media targeting the investigating team and the news organizations reporting on the investigation. Some news portals even wrote that the top officers behind the arrest were likely to face the music for framing the actor.
At least 10 news portals, including those with domain registered outside India, have come under the radar for publishing reports in favor of Dileep. Many of these unverified reports have been shared over a lakh times on social media using artificial and paid-for methods, the police have found.
Celebrities who distanced from Dileep or condemned his actions found themselves targets of on online tirade. Actor Asif Ali mellowed down after Facebook users lambasted him for his comment that he would never act with Dileep again.
The investigating team has also received information that a group of social media campaigners were working to boost the image of the actor. They were found to have offered money to some of the celebrities to spur them into speaking out for Dileep.
The online PR campaign was evidently aimed at forming public opinion in favor of Dileep but the reports backfired for the defense counsel while seeking bail for the actor.
A magistrate court at Angamaly rejected on Saturday the bail application of the actor, who has been remanded until July 24.
The campaign in support of Dileep bears a common stamp. The cyberwarriors keep in circulation random voices in support of the actor and reports of the actor’s charity works. Also doing the rounds are audio clips of phone conversations claiming to be that of angry viewers calling up the television channels to protest the negative coverage of their favorite actor.
There has even been a Facebook page drumming up support in favor of Dileep.
Interestingly, a similar online campaign had targeted actress Manju Warrier when she relaunched her career after separating from Dileep.