Actress assault case: Ganesh Kumar's aide held for threatening approver

Ganesh Kumar MLA's office secretary held for threatening approver in actress assault case
Pradeep Kottathala

Pathanapuram: The police have arrested Pradeep Kottathala, the office secretary of Pathanapuram legislator K B Ganesh Kumar, on charges of threatening the approver in the 2017 actress assault case.

Pradeep was arrested from Pathanapuram early on Tuesday.

The investigation team had submitted a report in Kasaragod district sessions court the other day, stating that Pradeep needs to be taken in custody and that he should not be given anticipatory bail.

His arrest follows the unearthing of a high-level conspiracy that was hatched to influence Vipin Lal, a witness who later became an approver in the case.

The conspirators had even met in Ernakulam on January 20, 2020 before trying to execute the plan. It needs to be ascertained if Pradeep had taken part in this meet, the police said.

The SIM card of the phone, which was used to make a single phone call to the approver, belonged to a Tirunelveli native. But the very next day after calling the approver, the tower location of the phone was found to be in Pathanapuram, the police report states.

In his bid to corner Vipin Lal, Pradeep arrived at Bekal in Kasaragod on January 24, 2020, and took a room at a hotel in Kanhangad. He then went to a jewellery shop in the Kasaragod town and met Vipin Lal's relative. He reportedly demanded to make a statement supporting Dileep. He continued to stay at the hotel in Kanhangad and phoned Vipin Lal after four days. But as the latter refused to give in, Pradeep returned. Then months later in September, the approver started receiving threatening letters.

Vipin Lal had written letters on behalf of first accused Pulsar Suni, demanding the promised money for attacking the actress, while in jail. Later this witness turned an approver in the case, i.e., serving as a witness for the prosecution. Hence Vipin's statement is extremely crucial during the trial of the sensational case.

Pradeep had twice met actor Dileep, an accused in the actress assault case, in the prison. He had also met Saritha Nair, an accused in the 2013 solar case, in jail and tried to influence her, police claimed.

The actress, who has worked in Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu films, was abducted and allegedly molested inside her car for two hours by the accused, who 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 the accused to blackmail the actress.

There are 10 accused in the case and initially, seven of them were arrested. Actor Dileep was arrested subsequently and let out on bail later.

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