After arguing that Dileep can be held guilty only when the court decides so, actor Siddique spoke about Shashi Tharoor to 'prove' that Dileep 'deserves better treatment’.

Why hound Dileep but spare Shashi Tharoor Actor Siddique defends his friend
news Actor abduction case Sunday, July 15, 2018 - 12:58

Malayalam actor Siddique on Friday defended actor Dileep, an accused in the case of an actress' abduction and rape,  claiming that the media was ‘hounding’ him and his supporters.

Siddique made the statement during a panel discussion on Whose freedom? Cops or Commoners at the Manorama News Conclave 2018 on Friday. Siddique shared the stage with retired Kerala High Court Justice Kemal Pasha and Loknath Behera, the DGP of the state, during the discussion, which was moderated by Manorama News journalist Shani Prabhakar. 

While the discussion was about a common man's freedom and whether or not the police was interfering in it, actor Siddique explained the idea of personal freedom using a case study – how the media ‘treated’ actor Dileep, who is an accused of a sexual crime.

After arguing that Dileep can only be held guilty once the court decides so, actor Siddique spoke about Congress MP Shashi Tharoor to 'prove' that his dear friend Dileep 'deserves better treatment’. 

Accusing the media of "hounding" Dileep and his supporters, Siddique asked why the media was not doing the same with Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who is charged with abetment to suicide of his wife Sunanda Pushkar. 

"Shashi Tharoor is also an accused. But he hasn't resigned from his post as the MP. Why is no one asking him to do that? Why are you (media) not painting him as guilty and holding debates on channels? We can only say that (he is guilty) when the crime is proven right? Shashi Tharoor and Dileep are both citizens but why two different justices for them?" Siddique asked. 

During the course of the discussion, journalist Shani Prabhakar put forward a question to Siddique whether the police have interfered or curtailed his freedom at any point. Saying that the police have never done so, but "have always helped him," Siddique began to blame the media. 

"As a common man, the police have never interfered in my personal freedom. It is the media that has always done so. The media is the one that does not let me talk or finish my sentences. If I am asked a question, they interrupt me while I am answering.  It is the media that has slammed me for my actions. When one of my colleagues was being questioned by the police, I went there so that he does not have to return home alone. For that, one news reader called me naradhaman (the lowest of mankind). Who gave them this freedom? Liberty is regulated freedom and what we have is liberty. My experience is that it is the media that is exercising absolute freedom to defame us and speak of us in any manner. This applies to the media fraternity, including Shani," he said.

Siddique went on to state that it was during the course of the police investigation that Dileep's alleged involvement surfaced and that he is only named as an accused in the case by the police.

"Police have not said that Dileep is involved in the case or that he is a criminal. It is a criminal Pulsar Suni who said so. The police are investigating and only after a trial can it be decided whether Dileep is guilty or not. But the media is defaming him, having decided that he is guilty. What will you do if it is proved that Dileep is not part of the conspiracy?” Siddique added.

DGP Loknath Behra, also present on the stage, declined to comment on the case since it was sub judice. 

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