KOCHI: Malayalam filmstar Dileep was on Monday arrested in connection with the abduction and sexual assault of a prominent actress in Kochi on February 18. The case went through several many twists and turns, with allegations and counter-allegations cropping up. Here is a timeline of the saga as it unfolded.
February 18: A popular Malayalam film actress is abducted and sexually abused in a moving vehicle on her way from Thrissur to Kochi on February 18.
The actor files a complaint with the Police same day.
February 19: Martin Antony, who drove the car, is taken into custody. Two more accused, Pradeep and Salim, are taken into custody.
Police say the operation was planned by the actress’s former driver Sunil Kumar aka Pulsar Suni, and was executed by his aide Martin.
February 24: ‘Pulsar’ Suni aka Sunil Kumar arrested by Police from inside a court room in Kochi amidst great drama, where he had come to surrender.
Police later arrest the sixth accused in the case Vijeesh.
Pulsar Suni tells the police his intention was to blackmail the actress after having recorded a nude video of hers. He says the mobile phone on which the video recording was made was later thrown into the backwaters of Kochi.
The search operation for the most vital evidence in the actor molestation case, the mobile phone used to record the sexual assault, however, goes in vain.
April 18: Sixty days after the incident, police team file charge sheet against seven persons, including prime accused Sunil Kumar aka Pulsar Suni.
June 24 – the twist: A letter, dated April 12, purportedly written by Pulsar Suni from Kakkanad jail to actor Dileep, surfaces, bringing the case again into the limelight.
A prisoner who shared a cell with Pulsar Suni came up with new revelations, alleging that he would tell police that Dileep was involved in the conspiracy behind the abduction and molestation of the actress in February. Police’s special investigation team (SIT) records a fresh statement of the actress who was sexually assaulted.
June 25 – blackmail allegations: The day after Pulsar Suni’s letter was leaked, actor Dileep and his friend and director-actor Nadirsha told the press that they were being blackmailed by a person ‘on behalf of Pulsar Suni’, the prime accused in the case.
Dileep said he was blackmailed by a person who demanded Rs 1.5 crore and threatened that if the amount was not paid he would name Dileep as being involved in the sexual assault case.
Dileep and Nadirsha said that they had filed a complaint in this regard on April 20 itself.
Actors Salimkumar and Aju Varghese post on Facebook in support of Dileep.
Dileep courts controversy by saying that the abducted actress and Pulsar Suni had been friends, and that she should have chosen her friends wisely.
The actress issues a statement to the media saying she was considering taking legal action against those who levelled baseless allegations against her.
Dileep later apologises for his remarks.
June 28: Dileep and Nadirsha are questioned by Police for nearly 12 hours. Their statement is also recorded on the basis of the complaint.
The general body meeting of Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) on June 29 extends support to Dileep.
July 10: Actor Dileep arrested
July 11: Dileep expelled from the primary membership of Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) after being arrested. He was also sent to 14-day judicial custody.
21 July: High court reserves order on Dileep’s bail petition
According to the prosecution, the SIT had collected sufficient materials and evidence to prove Dileep’s involvement in the crime. The telephone call records and deposition of eyewitnesses confirm his role. Refuting Dileep’s claim he did not know Pulsar Suni, the prosecution said the actor had met Suni more than four times at different places. Dileep had handed over `10,000 as an advance from his car to Suni to commit rape and record it.
25 July: Dileep's judicial custody extended to August 8
The Angamaly Judicial First Class Magistrate Court extends judicial custody of actor Dileep to August 8. The remand proceedings were conducted through video conferencing.
26 July: Police question actor Dileep's wife Kavya Madhavan
Kavya Madhavan reportedly questioned for over six hours at the ancestral home of Dileep. Many times she reportedly broke down.
31 July: Dileep’s manager Appunni surrenders before the police
Dileep’s manager Appunni surrenders before the Aluva police in connection with the Malayalam actress assault case. The Kerala High Court had rejected his anticipatory bail.
02 August: Police question kin of Malayalam actor Dileep in actress abduction case
Kerala Police calls the brother of Malayalam superstar Dileep's former actress wife Manju Warrier, Madhu Warrier to the Aluva Police club as part of its probe into the abduction and molestation of a popular actress earlier this year.
8 August: Dileep’s judicial custody extended till August 22
Angamali magisterial court extends the judicial custody of actor Dileep till August 22, in connection with assault and abduction of a Malayalam actress.
10 August: Dileep claims conspiracy against him
Dileep told the court in his bail plea that he was an unfortunate victim of an orchestrated media campaign directed by the powerful sections of the Malayalam film industry.
11 August: Kerala HC adjourns hearing on fresh bail plea of Dileep
The Kerala High Court adjourns to August 18 the hearing on a fresh bail plea of Malayalam actor Dileep, arrested in connection with a case of plotting the abduction and sexual assault of a South Indian actress in February.
16 August: Dileep's mother writes to CM Pinarayi Vijayan, says doesn't trust investigating officials
Sarojam alleges that Dileep is a victim of a conspiracy and he would be proven innocent if investigated properly. She also says that the current investigating officers should be changed and officials without vested interests should helm the probe.
30 August: Kavya Madhavan is my Madam, says Pulsar Suni, prime accused in Malayalam actress assault case
Pulsar Suni, the main accused in the famous Malayalam actress assault case tells reporters that Kavya Madhavan, wife of actor Dileep, is the 'madam', who was linked to the case. He was being taken to the Ernakulam CJM court when he revealed the information.
02 September: Dileep gets two-hour leave from jail for father's remembrance day
The Angamaly Court which heard his petition, despite strong opposition from the prosecution that this would set a bad precedent, allowed him to take part in the function that would be held at two places near Kochi amidst full security cover.
07 September - Kerala Police summons Nadhirshah
After a marathon 13-hour questioning in June, actor-director NadhirShah was asked to re-appear before the probe team in the Malayalam actress' kidnapping case, a Kerala Police officer had said.
09 September - Court intervenes after celebs make a beeline to meet Dileep
A trial court hearing the abduction case of a popular film actress intervened after the police approached it with a complaint stating that several celebrities have been visiting superstar Dileep over the last few days and this could affect the probe.
11 September - Police officer suspended for allegedly helping Pulsar Suni
14 September - Dileep files fresh bail plea in Angamaly court
The actor files the plea citing he has completed 60 days in judicial custody and hence, is entitled to a statutory bail. In his petition, Dileep said the first remand report submitted by the investigation team said the criminal conspiracy merely involved capturing nude pictures of the actress.
16 September: Magistrate Court to hear Kavya Madhavan's anticipatory bail plea till September 18
The move comes in the wake of reports that the actress is to be arrested by detectives investigating the abduction and molestation of a leading Malayalam actress earlier this year. The investigators are said to have found clues to an acquaintance between Kavya Madhavan and Pulsar Suni aka Sunil Kumar, the prime accused in the case.
17 September: Nadirshah appears before SIT for interrogation
The interrogation of the filmmaker happens at the Aluva Police Club. On 15th, Nadirshah appeared before the investigation team but the police could not interrogate him as he developed uneasiness and the medical team declared him unfit.
19 September - Kerala High Court posts actor Dileep's fifth bail plea for September 26
Posting the matter for September 26, the High Court asked the state government to give its opinion in the case on that day.
25 September - Kerala HC rejects bail plea of main accused, Pulsar Suni
This is the third time that Sunil Kumar aka Pulsar Suni's bail petition has been dismissed.
27 September - Superstar Dileep offered Rs 3 crore for abduction, prosecution tells Kerala High Court
The prosecution in the actress abduction case informs the Kerala High Court that arrested Malayalam actor Dileep had offered Rs 3 crore for abduction of the actress in February this year.The prosecution informed that Dileep offered Pulsar Suni Rs 1.50 crore for carrying out the abduction, and in case he gets caught in the act by the police, the compensation would be doubled.
28 September: Dileep's custody extended till October 12
Dileep, lodged in Aluva Sub-jail was not taken to the court. The proceedings of which were completed through video conferencing, according to local media reports.
03 October: Kerala High Court grants Dileep bail
The High Court observes that investigation has steadily progressed and in the final stage. Hence further detention is not needed. The Court also asks Dileep to furnish a bond of Rs 1 lakh and two solvent sureties for the like sum. Dileep should surrender his passport and appear before the investigating officer as and when required, the court says.
08 August 2018: 'Can't give videos of actress being attacked': Kerala High Court rejects Dileep's plea
The Kerala High Court turns down accused Malayalam actor Dileep's demand for a copy of the video of the abduction of an actress and her harassment