Ever since a prominent woman actor of the Malayalam film industry was abducted and allegedly sexually assaulted in February this year, the alleged involvement of actor Dileep in the crime has cropped up more than once.
The woman actor was abducted by seven persons including her driver Martin and although all the accused were arrested within days, reports of the incident being a "quotation" given by actor Dileep surfaced. Dileep, however, was quick to defend himself and has consistently claimed that his rivals were deliberately trying to malign him.
In an interview given to a leading Malayalam news channel in April, Dileep had even lashed out at certain media outlets for dragging his name into the incident. Dileep recently claimed that he had received a call demanding Rs 1.5 crore for Pulsar Suni, or the caller threatened to frame him in the case.
However, this time, several other people from the industry, who have come forward in support of the actor.
Actors Salim Kumar, Aju Varghese and director Laljose took to Facebook to reiterate Dileep's claim that he is being framed in the case.
Addressing the survivor in his Facebook post, actor Aju Varghese said that there were deliberate attempts to frame Dileep in the case.
"Whoever the accused is, what they did is unpardonable. But what is now happening is a deliberate attempt to frame Dileep. Our literate society must understand that these two things are entirely different," Aju wrote.
"I have known you since the past 26 years and I am with you, even when people are trying to defame you. So are the other people who know you," wrote director Laljose.
The abduction of the actor is the latest in the series of events "scripted" by certain people to destroy Dileep's career, Salim Kumar claimed. The first move in this script was the actor's divorce with his former wife Manju Warrier, Salim Kumar said.
Vouching for actor Dileep's "innocence," Salim Kumar said that he will convince Dileep him to undergo a lie detection test, if that will prove his innocence.
He added, "People who want to harass Dileep must first do one thing. Get Pulsar Suni and the woman actor to undergo lie detection test. It will end there...everything will end there."
However, minutes after Salim Kumar's statement that the survivor must also be subjected to a lie detector test, the actor was slammed for victim blaming.
"You claim to be sympathetic towards people who are unfairly targeted. Then why don't you show it to the survivor? Why are you demanding that she undergo lie detector test too? This means that your sympathy and objectiveness is only limited to your friends," an angry user wrote.
Slamming Salim Kumar, another user questioned whether he would do the same if it was his daughter who was in the same situation.
"Have you been paid by Dileep to say this? What if this happened to your own daughter?" the user wrote.
"It is understandable that you defend Dileep and slam Pulsar Suni. But what are your intentions behind demanding that the survivor undergo the test?" another wrote.
It was not just Facebook users who called out actor Salim Kumar for victim blaming. Director Byju Kottarakkara lashed out at Salim Kumar, demanding that the actor take down his post and apologize.