Malayalam Actor Dileep’s arrest in the actor abduction and assault case has also evoked mass public anger against the actor, with his business establishments being targeted by protesters. Despite Dileep's repeated declarations of innocence, there seemed to be no empathy for him and several people gathered outside the jail as he was being brought, and shouted ‘Welcome to Central Jail’ – the title of a popular film he acted in.
Late on Monday evening, the popular actor was arrested by the Kerala police for allegedly masterminding the conspiracy to abduct and sexually assault a woman Malayalam actor in February. Police sources say that their investigation has revealed that Dileep hired a criminal, Pulsar Suni, to abduct and assault the woman actor, over personal enmity and real estate dealings.
Dileep has been denying any role in the crime for several months now, but his arrest comes as a relief to many within the industry who believed that he was indeed involved in the crime. He has also since indulged in victim-blaming and shaming, which brought him more ire.
The anger against him in Kerala is now palpable.
Following the arrest, members of the Youth Congress marched towards D Cinemas in Chalakudy, owned by Dileep, to protest against him and in solidarity with the police action against him.
Unknown miscreants, and allegedly members of the DYFI, vandalised ‘Dhe Puttu’, the restaurant owned by the actor in Kozhikode. People who were dining inside reportedly ran out in horror as the restaurant was being attacked.
A huge crowd was present outside the Aluva Police Club as the police reached with him to record his arrest, and several people gathered there protested till midnight.
Later, when he was being brought to the Angamaly court to be produced before the magistrate, people were shouting and howling at him. The court ordered a 14-day judicial custody for him.
Dileep was then taken to the Aluva sub-jail, where he was again met with angry crowds, who were shouting ‘Welcome to Central Jail’.
The anger was evident online too, with several users expressing happiness over the arrest.
"Recalling Dileep's exclusive interview to a local channel where he said, he too was shocked to hear the news of actor's abduction and sexual harassment. He continued that, he immediately contacted her mother and consoled her mother. Great actor!" wrote Nisha Ponthathil, a journalist, on her FB wall.
"We congratulate the girl (who was assaulted). for moving forward courageously you are a woman of this new generation," (sic) wrote Biju Bala Krishnan.
"After so long, it might have been yesterday she slept peacefully. who ever gets punished tat will not negate the suffering she went through. When she spoke to me two days ago she told me that she was grateful for the support media and people are giving her and she fight until death to get justice.This case reached to this extend just beacuse of media. What needs to be seen is how teh case will unfold in the court we should all wait and see," (sic) said Bagyalakshmi, a Malayalam dubbing artist.