Malayalam super star Dileep, arrested on Monday in the kidnapping and sexual assault of an actress in February, has been sent to prison for 14 days. He will be lodged at the Aluva sub-jail, around 25 km from Kochi. His lawyer Ram Kumar said they will move for bail tomorrow.
"I will prove my innocence and I am innocent. I was trapped," the 48-year-old actor said this morning before he was taken to prison. He was arrested on Monday evening after many rounds of questioning at an undisclosed location.
People gathered in front of the jail today shouted slogans of "Welcome to Central Jail."
The actor, considered by many as the third most popular Malayalam star after legends Mamooty and Mohan Lal, has been accused of conspiracy in the abduction and assault of the actress, with whom, the police alleged, he had a "personal enmity."
"Dileep has been arrested after prima facie evidence of a conspiracy in the case of a prominent actress from the state being kidnapped and molested," a top police officer Loknath Behera told reporters on Monday.
On February 17 this year, the actress was travelling by road to Kochi for work when she was accosted and held captive in a moving car for nearly two hours. Four men molested her and also took photos on their cellphones, before dumping her near the house of a director, who called the police.
Six people, including Pulsar Suni, a driver she had sacked, were arrested.
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 Pulsar Suni, the main accused. "A big shark will fall," Pulsar Suni had told reporters last week after his jail sentence for the second time Pulsar Suni, sources have said, told the police that he was paid to attack the actress. The police have earlier raided Lakshya, a boutique owned by Dileep's wife, in search of crucial evidence, based on the confession of Suni.
The actress who was attacked had recently talked about legal action "against an actor" who she said had falsely suggested that she was friends with her former driver. "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," she had said in a statement.
Though she did not name anyone it was clear she was talking about her co-star Dileep, who appeared to suggest in a TV interview that the actress should have been more cautious about who she befriended.
A hotel that the star owns in Kochi was attacked and ransacked by an angry crowd on Monday evening.