New twist in Dileep case: Cops say actor used hacker to delete messages, hacker denies

The police raided locations connected to cyber expert Sai Shankar, and found a laptop which they claimed was used to delete data from Dileep’s phone.
Actor Dileep
Actor Dileep
Written by:

In a new twist in the conspiracy case against actor Dileep, the Kerala Crime Branch has alleged that Sai Shankar, a cyber expert and hacker deleted data from the actor’s phone in January. The Crime Branch had accused Dileep and others of conspiring to kill police officials investigating the 2017 actor assault case. While the new FIR against Dileep, his brother Anoop, brother-in-law Suraj and three others for alleged conspiracy was filed on January 9, 2022, the Crime Branch has alleged that messages were deleted from Dileep’s phone towards the end of January.

Sai Shankar is based out of Kozhikode, and according to the Crime Branch, he was in Kochi in the last week of January. On March 17, the Crime Branch raided six locations linked with Sai Shankar, and found an iMac laptop among other electronic items. Upon further examination, it was found that the iMac, which belongs to Sai Shankar’s wife, was used to delete data from Dileep’s phone on January 29, before Dileep’s iPhone and the phones of others were sent for forensic examination by the judicial magistrate. Sai Shankar was directed by the Crime Branch to appear before them on March 18, however, he had requested additional time for the same.

So what messages were deleted? Though the police have not made this clear, a few Malayalam channels have reported that the messages were reportedly to two women colleagues in which the sexual assault case was discussed.

On Monday, March 21, Sai Shankar moved the Kerala High Court, seeking pre-arrest bail. According to news reports, Sai Shankar was allegedly seen at the office of advocate Raman Pillai and it was here that the data was allegedly deleted. On March 14, Sai Shankar reportedly told the Kerala High Court that the Crime Branch, during questioning, allegedly forced him to name Raman Pillai for destroying the evidence. He also alleged that officers investigating the case had threatened to implicate his wife in false cases, and sought pre-arrest bail on the suspicion that he would be tortured in police custody. In his bail plea, Sai Shankar has denied all allegations of deleting the data. He however adds that even if the allegations were true, he could only be charged under Section 201 of the Indian Penal Code for destroying evidence, a bailable offense.

Earlier in March, the Crime Branch submitted to the High Court that data on Dileep’s phone regarding the conspiracy case was erased on January 29 and 30, before the phones were sent for forensic examination by the judicial magistrate. According to the cyber forensic analysis report, “the detailed examination of the WhatsApp chats in the iPhone used by Dileep shows that chats up to December 25, 2021, are available in the phone memory and many chats are found to be deleted.”

Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Minute