The prosecution sought further investigation in the sexual assault of a woman actor case following revelations of a film director who claimed to be a friend of actor Dileep, the eighth accused in the case.
Balachandrakumar, the director, told a local television news channel that he had seen ‘Pulsar’ Suni, the prime accused in the case, at the residence of Dileep along with the actor. He also claimed that Dileep had possession of the footage of the assault, handed to him by a ‘VIP’, much before it was even produced in court.
In the interview, he claimed that Dileep, his brother Anoop and Dileep’s wife Kavya Madhavan requested him several times not to testify before the court that he had seen ‘Pulsar’ Suni at the actor’s residence. Balachandrakumar, who was in talks with Dileep about doing a film together, said he had dropped the project after losing interest in it and upon being convinced of the actor’s involvement in the sexual assault case.
The allegations levelled by Balachandrakumar against Dileep can be a shot in the arm for the prosecution in the case which had approached the High Court against the trial court claiming that permission was not granted to examine nine prosecution witnesses in the case.
On Feb 17, 2017, a prominent woman actor was allegedly abducted and sexually assaulted inside a moving car near Kochi. The case hit headlines and in July, Dileep, who has starred in over 150 Malayalam films, was arrested on charges including criminal conspiracy, wrongful confinement and intent to outrage a woman’s modesty. He was released on bail after spending 85 days in jail. The trial in the case is expected to conclude soon.
Meanwhile, the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) demanded in a Facebook post that the law and order machinery in the state look deeply into the allegations of Balachandrakumar. “Do the actions alleged in the interview amount to illegal actions like bribery and/or intimidation of crucial witnesses? Is the person’s request for police protection from threats to his life being considered and offered to him?”