Thiruvananthapuram: After many rounds of questioning, Malayalam star Dileep was arrested on Monday for the kidnapping and sexual assault of an actress in February.
- Actress says was held captive in moving car while going to Kochi in Feb
- Six people, including Pulsar Suni, the driver she sacked, were arrested
- Last month, Dileep claimed that he was being blackmailed for 1.5 crore
"Actor Dileep has been arrested for his prima facie role in a conspiracy and to facilitate further investigation as well as evidence collections", Kerala's Director General of Police Loknath Behera said. He will be presented before a magistrate today.
Mr Dileep was questioned last month for over 12 hours after he claimed he and a director were being blackmailed for 1.5 crores by the kidnappers, including the actress' driver Pulsar Suni, the main accused.
He was interrogated again on Monday and then arrested. Late on Monday night, Mr Dileep's restaurant Dhe Puttu was vandalised by ab angry mob in Kerala's Kozhikode District.
On February 17, the actress, while travelling by road to Kochi for work, was held captive in a moving car for nearly two hours while four men molested her and also took photos on their cellphones. She was dumped near the house of a director, who called the police.
Six people, including Pulsar Suni, the driver she had sacked, were arrested.
On June 29, the police took statements of Mr Dileep and the director who had filed the blackmail complaint.
"I have given all details about my complaint to the police," Mr Dileep, who appeared calm, told reporters as he left the police camp after the questioning.
The actress had recently talked about legal action "against an actor" who she said had falsely suggested that she was friends with her former driver.
In a statement to the press, she responded, "It's been brought to my knowledge that an actor has said that the accused in this case - Pulsar Suni and I were friends and that one should be careful while befriending people. This has pained me. If such baseless allegations are made against me, I am even willing to take legal action, if required."
Though she didn't take names, there was little doubt about the actor she was referring to. Her co-star Dileep, in an interview to a local TV channel, appeared to suggest that the actress should have been more cautious about who she befriended.
Women in Cinema Collective issued a statement on Monday night on Facebook saying, "We want justice for our woman colleague...Let the investigation progress, evidence be collected and let the truth come out."