The Malayalam film industry has had its share of controversies over the years but what happened on Monday would rank as one of its biggest ever.
Leading actor Dileep, who ranks only behind Kerala’s two “superstars” Mohanlal and Mamoottyin terms of popularity and box-office draw, was arrested in Kochi for his alleged role in the conspiracy behind the abduction and assault of awell-known actress in February.
The 48-year-old, who has acted in over 130 films in a career spanningtwo decades, was summoned by a special police team led by IGP Dinendra Kashyap this morning. Following interrogation, which lasted through the day, his arrest was recorded under the charge of conspiracy.
Police had earlier questioned Dileep’s brother Anoop, manager Appunni, and his close friend and business associate Nadirshah, who is also a film director.
“Dileep was arrested based on evidence collected by the probe team. The investigation is still on and more arrests cannot be ruled out,’’ said Kerala DGP Loknath Behera.
According to police sources, investigations have revealed that Dileepallegedly “gave the supari” to attack the actress due to “personal enmity”.
The victim was once close to Dileep’s family, at a time when he was married to popular actress Manju Warrier. But this relationship is believed to have soured after Dileep and Warrier formalised a mutual separation in 2015, citing irrevocable differences. Dileep is now married to another popular actress Kavya Madhavan.
Police sources said Dileep believed that the victim played a role in creating discord in his marital life with Warrier. And, according to them, the conspiracy to target the actress was allegedly hatched in 2013, the year Dileep filed a divorce petition in a family court.