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Malayalam actor Dileep denied bail, sent to judicial custody till July 25 in actress abduction case

Malayalam film actor Dileep
Malayalam film actor Dileep
Top Malayalam film actor Dileep, who was arrested on Monday on charges of conspiracy in the sensational February 17 abduction and sexual harassment of a popular young actress, was today denied bail by a local court and sent back to judicial custody till July 25.
 
Dileep, 48, had been initially sent to two weeks in judicial custody but on Wednesday the Judicial First Class Magistrate in Angamaly had remanded him to two days in police custody. 
 
Yesterday, the police custody was extended till 5 pm today, by when the court said it would also rule on his bail application.
 
The special prosecutor objected to the bail application, saying that if he is given bail the actor could influence and intimidate witnesses and destroy evidence.
 
 After his bail plea was turned down and he was sent to judicial custody till July 25, he was taken back to the Aluva sub-jail here.
 
The actor's lawyers said they would now move the High Court here on Monday for bail.
 
The abduction and harassment of the actress, which sent shock waves throughout Kerala and the entire film industry in India, took place when she was travelling alone in a car with the driver late in the evening of February 17 from Thrissur to Kochi.
 
The car was waylaid by a group of about three persons in a van near Athani in Angamaly near here. The men then forced their way into her car and drove around for about two hours, during which they allegedly harassed her and also took photographs and a video of her, sources said. They finally stopped at Padamugal, near Kakkanad, in Kochi and fled in another car.
 
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The actress, who has also acted in Tamil and Telugu movies, then managed to reach the residence of a well-known film director in Kakkanad, for whose film she had been shooting. The director informed the police, who reached his residence soon after and recorded the actress' statement.
 
The actress is understood to have told the police that one of the men was her former driver, Sunil Kumar, also known as Pulsar Suni because of a Bajaj Pulsar motorcycle he owned.
 
Suni was arrested by the police in dramatic circumstances from the premises of the additional chief judicial magistrate (ACJM) here on February 23. He and his alleged accomplice Vijeesh were arrrested when they managed to evade the policemen posted around the complex and sneak into the court to surrender before a magistrate.
 
While seeking extension of the police remand for Dileep, the police told the court today that the mobile telephone, which was used to take pictures of the actress by her tormentors, was probably now with the actor.
 
They said in the report that they suspect the telephone was handed over to the actor by Pratheesh Chacko, a lawyer who represented Suni initially. The report also said that Suni later tried to blackmail Dileep because he had not got the amount promised to him.
 
While he was in their custody, the police had taken Dileep, 48, to various places in Kochi and Thrissur in an effort to trace the crime trail.
 
There were allegations soon after the incident that Dileep was part of the conspiracy to attack the actress in view of a personal enmity between the two. The actor, however, has maintained all along that he was not linked in any way to the attack. He had also maintained that he did not know Suni, but later photographs surfaced in which the main accused was seen at the location of a Dileep movie.
 
Dileep and the actress had acted in several movies together and they had formed a popular screen pair before they fell apart. 
 
Born as Gopalakrishnan Padmanabhan Pillai on October 27, 1968, Dileep had over the past few years acquired an enviable position in the Malayalam film industry.
 
Dileep, who started out in movies as an assistant director in 1991 after stints as a mimicry artiste and in comedy shows on television, has a huge fan following, especially because of his comedy roles in several Malayalam movies. In all, he has appeared in more than 130 films so far. He is also a film producer and entrepreneur and used to wield considerable influence in the Malayalam film industry.
 
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