Eager to rescue his own image from the shocking developments in the actor abduction case, Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) President, Innocent, wrote that "the organisation won’t support a person who has been involved in the case under any circumstances."
Innocent’s Facebook post came following AMMA’s decision to suspend the membership of actor Dileep, who was arrested by the police on Monday for his suspected involvement in the case of abduction and sexual assault.
Innocent – who didn’t attend the Executive Committee meeting on Tuesday afternoon that decided on Dileep’s removal – said that he was shocked on hearing the details of the conspiracy hatched against the female actor.
“All of us heard the details about the conspiracy in which Dileep was involved with shock. We can only view the conspiracy related to the attack against our sister with utmost seriousness. The shock that it caused is not small. Whoever was involved in a heinous act like this should receive rigorous punishment,” he wrote.
“AMMA has decided to terminate the membership of Dileep as his role in the case has been revealed by the police. Amma can’t accommodate a person who has been involved in such a crime under any circumstances. I was not able to attend the Amma meeting, as I was in the hospital receiving treatment. But my colleagues had consulted with me over the phone regarding the decision,” the post added.
Innocent admitted that the earlier stand taken by AMMA in the issue was subject to criticism. “There were limitations. AMMA couldn't take a stern stand since there was no confirmation from the police, and we had no knowledge about the conspiracy. That does not mean that Amma protects certain people. Is it possible for someone to protect a culprit in such a crime?” the post asked.
The post also claimed that AMMA had given its full support to “our sister” from the very day the crime happened.
“AMMA unanimously took the decision to dismiss the membership of Dileep as soon as his role in the conspiracy came to light. AMMA once again declares that we stand united and firmly with our sister, who has been undergoing severe mental agony. We also want to express AMMA’s happiness regarding the vigilance shown by the police, the government and the Chief Minister in the case,” the post says.
Actor Innocent had come under fire for asserting that Dileep was innocent in the case. He had also drawn flak for his comments that the Malayalam industry was free of the menace of sexual harassment in the form of the ‘casting couch’, but certain ‘bad women’ may sleep around.
Innocent’s statement drew strong criticism from the Women’s Collective in Cinema, the recently formed women’s forum in the Malayalam film industry, as well as from the state women’s commission.