The sensational case of the abduction and alleged sexual assault of a prominent Malayalam actor finally led to the arrest of actor Dileep on Monday. He has now been remanded in judicial custody for 14 days by an Aluva court.
The actor has applied for bail and the magistrate will consider his bail application on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Dileep's arrest has evoked strong reactions across the political spectrum and the film industry with several people voicing their opinions on the controversial case.
Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, Ramesh Chennithala said that it should be probed if people’s representatives and office bearers of Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) viz. Innocent, Mukesh and Ganeshkumar, have any role in the conspiracy related to the actor abduction.
“The over-enthusiasm shown by them to protect and defend Dileep is doubtful. It is an MP and two MLAs of the ruling front who have tried to mislead the case. If the conspiracy has to be brought to light fully, their role should be probed. Innocent has no moral right to continue as AMMA president,” Chennithala said in a statement.
Speaking to The News Minute, CPI-M Kollam district secretary and former MP KN Balagopal said, "It is shocking that film stars would go to this extent out of vengeance. Though we had heard stories about criminal-actor nexus, it was unthinkable to relate an actor with a crime. With the arrest of Dileep, people's faith in the judiciary and police has gone up. I don't think the arrest would have happened if it was any other state in the country. The government had given full freedom to the investigating team.”
PK Sreemathi, MP of Kannur and a senior leader of the CPI (M) said that the arrest is not shocking at all.
“It might be shocking for many people that Dileep was arrested. But people like me had sensed a conspiracy the moment we heard about the incident. The crime was so brutal and heinous. It is impossible for a driver to carry out such a crime given the fact that the woman was a well known actor. How shamelessly the other stars in the film world defended Dileep,” she said.
KS Sabarinathan, MLA of Aruvikkara constituency, told TNM that the arrest should have been made earlier.
"It has been delayed for four months after the public forgot the case. Also, the rebirth of the case was a sudden development. There needs to be clarity on such things. When you are trying to connect the dots, it is not complete. We Malayalis, are not used to watching this kind of development where a celebrity is involved in a big crime, though it is common in Bollywood that actors get accused of crimes," he said.
CPI senior leader Pannian Raveendran said in an FB post that the mask of a popular actor has fallen.
“It is now more clear with whom AMMA is? It is with the violators only. AMMA president Innocent should apologise and dissolve the organisation. AMMA has become a group of people who protect culprits,” he said in a Facebook post.
Actor Remya Nambeesan, who is a close friend of the survivor, wrote in an FB post, "Truth succeeds. Big Salute to Kerala police. Will be with dear friend till the last. It is indeed a historic moment for those who were eagerly waiting to know the truth. I don’t really know how to express my emotion right now. Hats off to Kerala police.”
"I acknowledge it as a crime as done by someone of my family. It is a major development in the cases related to atrocities against women. He should be penalised. The case has led to a situation where the society won’t allow any atrocities against women," actor Mala Paravthi told media.
The survivor’s family had earlier said, "Happy that truth has been proved. We were sure that we will get justice. That is why we trusted the Kerala police and didn't demand a CBI probe even when other people were asking for that.”