The survivor in the actor assault case in which actor Dileep is an accused spoke out on Monday, January 10 in public for the first time saying even though she was not the one who committed the crime, there have been attempts to humiliate, silence and isolate her. The survivor, using her Instagram handle, said her name and identity were suppressed for the last five years.
The crime has been an inflection point in the Malayalam film industry, with the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) being formed. Soon after the actor shared her statement, members of the WCC as well as others in the Malayalam industry came to the support of the actor. Actors Prithviraj Sukumaran and Tovino Thomas were the first male stars to share the actorâ€™s statement. Following this, almost 200 actors, directors and producers shared her statement.
Actors Mammootty, Mohanlal, Dulquer, Aju Verghese and Jayasurya meanwhile shared the statement only towards the night on January 10.
The statement was shared by members of the WCC including actors Parvathy Thiruvothu, Remya Nambeesan, Rima Kallingal, Divya Gopinath, Archana Padmini, Niranjana Anoop and Saniya Iyyappan. Directors Anjali Menon, Geethu Mohandas, Nirmal Sahadev and Shruthi Sharanyam. Others from the WCC who shared her statement include Meera Thalakkottoor, Sayanora Philip, Shabna Mohammed, Sangeetha Janachandran, Mitta Antony, Miriam Joseph and Fowzia Fathima.
Actors who shared the statement and showed support to the survivor include Anna Ben, Arya Badai, Kunchako Boban, Nikhila Vimal, Aparna Das, Femina George, Mridula Murali, Shebin Benson, Kailas Menon, Nimisha Sajayan, Poornima Indrajith, Samyuktha Menon, Prayaga Martin, Darshana Rajendran, Indrajith Sukumaran, Aishwarya Lekshmi, Jinu Joseph, Rajith Menon, Divya Prabha, Athulya Ashadam, Shilpa Bala, Nyla Usha, Aditi Balan, Baburaj, George Kora, Hemanth Menon, Meenakshi Unnikrishnan, Ahaana Krishna, Noorin Shereef, Mathew Thomas, Krishnaprabha, Sharafudheen, Chinnu Chandni, Santhy Balakrishnan, Aparna Gopinath, Anupama Parameshwaran, Kani Kusurti, Kalyani Priyadarshan and Roshan Mathew.
Others in the Malayalam film industry who shared the statement include director-producer Aashiq Abu, director Jeo Baby, producer Supriya Menon, writer-director Harshad Ali, editor-director Appu Bhattathiri, writer Ranjini Achuthan, writer Parari Muhsin, music director Mujeeb Majeed, actor-director Aaryan Krishna Menon, director Vishnu Raghavan, producer Kevin Paul, director Madhu C Narayanan, director Saajan R Sharada, musician Sajna Sudheer, director Ratheena PT, writer Suhas, writer Aashiq Akbar Ali, singer Bindu Anirudhan, producer Chithra Subrahmanian, cinematographer Nimish Ravi, writer-director Salil V, producer Ashiq Usman, director Judith Nambradath, sound designer Sreejesh Nair, singer Prathana Indrajith, cinematographer Jaffer Zadique, cinematographer Sudeep Elamon, director Kunjila, writer Rekha Raj, sound designer Nixon George, director Arun PR, sound designer Nixon George, director Senna Hegde, writer Sudha, singer G Venugopal, director Basil Joseph, director Arun Bose, director Ravi K Chandran, lyricist Vinayak Sasikumar, writer Shahi Kabeer, musician Shahabaz Aman, writer Kshema, associate director Athulya, associate director Devika Chandrasekharan, writer-director Dileesh Nair, director Bejoy Nambiar, director Manu Ashokan, producer Bineesh Chandran, singer Sachin Warrier, producer Sophia Paul, director Megha Ramaswamy, writer Vivek Ranjith and writer Mridul George.
Apart from the Malayalam film industry, Bollywood actors Sonam Kapoor, Konkana Sen and director Zoya Akhtar also shared the statement. Thiruvananthapuram Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor also showed his support.
In her statement on Monday, the actor had said: â€śThis has not been an easy journey. The journey from being a victim to becoming a survivor. For 5 years now, my name and my identity have been suppressed under the weight of the assault inflicted on me. Though I am not the one who has committed the crime, there have been many attempts to humiliate, silence and isolate me.â€ť
The survivor thanked everyone who had stood by her and said some have stepped forward to keep her 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. To see justice prevail, to get wrongdoers punished and to ensure no one else goes through such ordeal again, I shall continue this journey. For all those who are standing with me- a heartfelt thank you for your love," she said.
The survivor â€” an actor who worked in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films â€” was abducted and assaulted inside her car for two hours. The entire act was filmed by some of the accused to blackmail the actress.
There are ten accused in the case and initially, police arrested seven people. Dileep, the eighth accused was arrested subsequently and let off on bail later.
With inputs from PTI