Actor Manju Warrier, the 11th and a crucial witness in the February 2017 kidnap and sexual assault case of another Malayalam actor, appeared before Judge Honey M Varghese in the additional special sessions court in Kochi on Thursday.
Clad in a black salwar, this was Manju's first appearance in the case after the trial started. In the case which has ten people accused for various charges including rape, kidnap and conspiracy, Manju Warrier had given a statement to the police about Dileep, her former husband and eighth accused in the case.
The Public Prosecutor (PP) told TNM that Manju Warrier repeated her statement given to the police, in court. "She did not say anything that could turn against the survivor," Public Prosecutor A Suresan told TNM.
Manju Warrier had told police in 2017 that her divorce with actor Dileep had been due to an extra marital affair that he had with Kavya Madhavan (who is his current wife). Manju had also said that it was the actor who had been sexually assaulted who had revealed this extra marital affair to her.
The case by the Kerala Police against Dileep is that he had conspired and paid money to the prime accused Pulsar Suni to kidnap the actor and sexually assault her. According to the case, Dileep wanted Pulsar Suni to record the sexual assault and give the footage to him. This according to the prosecution was Dileep's way of extracting revenge from the actor who had revealed about his extra marital affair to Manju Warrier.
The survivor had appeared in court from January 30th for four days.
Manju Warrier's statement to police in 2017
"The assaulted actor is my friend. The day she was attacked, I went to meet her at her home. When people from the industry held a programme in Ernakulam in response to the attack, I took part in it and spoke at the event. She had told me that it was a quotation gang who was behind the attack and so I said that the culprits must be punished.
"I divorced Dileep in 2015 and the extramarital relationship between him and Kavya was the reason behind it. Even before we separated two years before that, there was constant friction between us regarding his relationship with Kavya. And at times, that has paved way for major fights between us. What I heard from the assaulted actor only reinforced what I already knew about the two.
"I said at the event that there was a conspiracy behind the crime.
"After my wedding to Dileep, I had completely cut myself off from the industry. I hadn't interacted with anyone. I didn't have a world outside my home. One day, I happened to see their messages on Dileep's phone. I shared it with my friends Geethu, Samyukta and the assaulted actor. This was sometime in 2012 when I had seen several messages between Kavya and Dileep. When I told Dileep about what the assaulted actor had told me, he told me that she didn't know anything and that she was ignorant."