Dileep arriving at Crime Branch office for interrogation | Photo: B Muralikrishnan/ Mathrubhumi
Kochi: The three-day long interrogation of actor Dileep and others, in a case registered against them for allegedly threatening officials probing the sexual assault of an actress in 2017, concluded on Tuesday here at the Crime Branch office.
The actor and four others--his brother, brother-in-law, driver and a friend, appeared before the crime branch officials at 9 AM and were interrogated for 11 hours upon the direction of the Kerala High Court.
Earlier in the day, ADGP S Sreejith met the media and said the interrogation was based on the results of the scientific analysis of evidence collected.
The Crime Branch has summoned many witnesses over the last three days, with the latest being Vyasan Edavanakkad, a friend of Dileep. Crime Branch sources said Edavanakkad was summoned based on the telephonic records of the actor.
After recording his statement with the Crime Branch, Edavanakkad told the media that he was summoned to identify voices in the sound clip.
The agency had, on January 9, registered the case on a complaint filed by an investigating officer based on a purported audio clip of Dileep, which was released by a TV channel in which the actor was allegedly heard conspiring to attack the official.
The actor and others were questioned for 33 hours in the last three days and the time allowed by the Kerala High Court ended at 8 PM on Tuesday.
The Crime Branch will submit its report on interrogation, before the high court on January 27, based on which an order is expected on the anticipatory bail plea of the actor and others.
The High Court, while considering the anticipatory bail petition, on Saturday granted interim protection to Dileep from arrest but directed him and others to appear before the investigating officers on January 23, 24 and 25 for interrogation.
The accused were questioned for 11 hours each on all three days.
The sleuths had on Monday summoned director/ script writer, Rafi, to seek clarifications regarding certain matters.
Crime Branch SP Mohanachandran had said that Rafi was summoned to identify voices in the sound clips handed over by director Balachandra Kumar, who had made startling remarks against the actor and others.
The agency had formed five separate teams to interrogate and record the statement of the accused and sources had said that they were close to making one accused in the case an approver.
Crime Branch sources had earlier said that the interrogation of the accused will be recorded as they suspect that the actor and others might approach the court alleging harassment during questioning.
Justice Gopinath P had directed the accused to fully cooperate with the investigation and directed them to be available for interrogation from 9 AM to 8 PM on the three days.
The court had also warned the accused that in case of non-cooperation, the interim protection from arrest will be lifted and custody will be granted to the Crime Branch.
Besides Dileep, his younger brother P Sivakumar and brother-in-law T N Suraj, driver Appu and a friend Baiju Chengamanadu were asked to present themselves for interrogation.
The actor and five others were booked under various provisions of the IPC, including Sections 116 (abetment), 118 (concealing design to commit offence), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 34 (criminal act done by several people).
Dileep has claimed that this apprehension was borne out of the past conduct of the complainant officer who has been trying to falsely implicate him in the sexual assault case.
The actress who has worked in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films was abducted and allegedly molested in her car for two hours by some of the accused, who had forced their way into the vehicle on the night of February 17, 2017 and later escaped in a busy area. The entire act was filmed by some of the accused to blackmail the actress.
There are 10 accused in the case and initially, police arrested seven people. Dileep was arrested subsequently and released on bail later.