Actor-MLA Ganesh Kumar’s aide booked for 'threatening' witness in actor assault case

Congress leader Jyotikumar Chamakala had released screenshots of CCTV footage showing the aide, Pradeep, talking to the relatives of an accused-turned-approver in the case.
Pradeep Kumar
Pradeep Kumar
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In another development in the Kerala actor sexual assault case, evidence of attempts to threaten witnesses to change their statements has surfaced on social media. Kerala Congress leader Jyotikumar Chamakala on Wednesday released screenshots of the CCTV footage of a man who allegedly threatened the relatives of a witness in the 2017 actor abduction and sexual assault case.

The video footage shows M Pradeep Kottathala, the office secretary of Pathanapuram MLA and actor KB Ganesh Kumar, at a showroom in Kasaragod, talking to the relatives of accused-turned-approver Vipin Lal. The Bekal police in Kasaragod have registered a case against the legislator’s secretary, the Circle Inspector of the police station confirmed to TNM.

Ganesh Kumar, of the Kerala Congress, is known to have always extended his support to actor Dileep, who is the eighth accused in the case and is accused to have masterminded the crime. The actor-politician had also reportedly visited Dileep in jail. The screenshots shared on social media by Jyothikumar show Pradeep at an office in Bekal in Kasaragod district on January 25, 2020.

Vipin Lal, a resident of Bakal in Kasaragod, is a key witness in the sexual assault case. He was the tenth accused in the actor sexual assault case but later turned an approver, who has been granted a pardon under Section 306(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). He had given a confidential statement to the magistrate against actor Dileep. He had earlier filed a police complaint about the threats to change his statement to the police.

In his Facebook post, Jyothikumar alleged that Vipin had been under pressure to change his statement and that he had received threatening calls on January 24 and 28 this year. He also allegedly received messages with the same demand on January 24 and 25 apart from receiving threatening letters.

The police have collected the CCTV footage of Pradeep’s arrival and his confrontation with Vipin’s relatives. The police have also registered a case against Pradeep. The prosecutors in the case are expected to take up the issue in the High Court, suggest reports.

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