For the first time, the survivor in the Kerala actor sexual assault case has spoken up in public, using one of her official social media pages. "This has not been an easy journey. The journey from being a victim to becoming a survivor," she said in her note on Instagram, adding, "To see justice prevail, to get wrongdoers punished and to ensure no one else goes through such an ordeal again, I shall continue this journey." Her earlier statements were made through the official page of the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) and this is the first time she's used her own account to release a statement about the assault and her fight for justice.
The survivor in her post said, "For 5 years now, my name and my identity have been suppressed under the weight of the assault inflicted on me," the actor wrote on her Instagram page. (Note: Legally in India, the media cannot reveal the name of a sexual assault survivor even with her own consent, which is why this report is not naming her.)
âThough I am not the one who has committed the crime, there have been many attempts to humiliate, silence and isolate me. But at such times I have had some who stepped forward to keep my voice alive. Now when I hear so many voices speak up for me I know that I am not alone in this fight for justice,â the survivor wrote.
She also thanked the people who have stood by her in the fight. âTo see justice prevail, to get wrongdoers punished and to ensure no one else goes through such an ordeal again, I shall continue this journey. For all those who are standing with me â a heartfelt thank you for your love,â she wrote.
The survivor's statement comes at a time Kerala police are further investigating the sexual assault case in which actor Dileep is accused of being the mastermind. In the most recent developments, a filmmaker who claims to be a friend of actor Dileep has made allegations that accused number 1 in the case, 'Pulsar' Suni, was at Dileep's residence just weeks before the sexual assault. He has also released several audio clips allegedly featuring Dileep and his coterie.
The survivor was assaulted in a moving vehicle in Kochi by a gang of men in February 2017 and the trial of the case is still going on.
In the first week of January, the actor had written to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, and demanded justice. Pointing out that two Special Public Prosecutors had quit the case, she asked the Chief Minister to investigate the matter and appoint a replacement at the earliest. She also highlighted allegations raised by director Balachandrakumar, who said that he was a friend of actor Dileep.
On January 6, the Kerala government formed a new team to investigate the case, led by Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Sreejith. The move came after film director Balachandrakumar made several allegations in connection with the case.
The director, who said that he was earlier a friend of Dileep, alleged that the actor, who is an accused in the case, had watched visuals of the assault before it was produced in court. Balachandrakumar also said that he had witnessed the close relationship between Dileep and Pulsar Suni, who has been named as the main accused in the case.
The case pertains to the abduction and assault of the actor in a moving car in Kochi on February 17, 2017. Dileep was arrested in July 2017 in connection with the case, and spent several weeks in jail before securing bail. He has been named as a conspirator in the case.
Watch: TNMâs Editor-in-chief Dhanya Rajendran explain our coverage of the case