Kochi: After 11 hours of questioning, actor Dileep and four others left the Crime Branch Office at Kalamassery on Sunday.
The first day of interrogation -- on allegations of Dileep threatening the investigating officers probing the 2017 actor assault case -- that began at 9 am was wrapped up shortly before 8 pm.
Dileep ignored media persons as he walked toward his car at the end of day one. Two more days of questioning remain and the actor has been directed to return to the place by 9 am on Monday.
The High Court of Kerala had on Saturday asked Dileep and other accused – his brother P Sivakumar (Anoop), brother-in-law T N Suraj, friend Baiju Chengamanad and driver Krishnadas (Appu) – to appear before the investigating officers on January 23, 24 and 25 for interrogation.
The questioning had commenced under Crime Branch Superintendent of Police, C Mohanachandran.
The Crime Branch registered the case on January 9 following a complaint filed by an investigating officer - Baiju Poulose - based on an audio clip of Dileep, which was telecast by a TV channel in which the actor was allegedly heard conspiring to attack the official.
The actor and four others were booked under various provisions of the IPC, including Sections 116 (abetment), 118 (concealing design to commit offence), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 34 (criminal act done by several people).
Following the development, the actor and others approached the high court seeking anticipatory bail.
After a long hearing on Saturday, the court ruled that actor Dileep and others have to appear before the police probe team for three days starting Sunday for further questioning.
The court also ordered that the actor should not be arrested till January 27 and on that day the director general of prosecution should in a sealed cover handover the details of the three-day questioning.
The court then posted the case for January 27.
Dileep's friend Sarath had also approached the court for anticipatory bail in the case. However, the court deferred hearing the plea to Thursday as the prosecution informed the court that he had not been charged in the case.
The court said Dileep should present himself before the Crime Branch police probe team from 9 am till 8 pm and any attempt to tamper or influence the case in any manner will result in his cancellation of his bail.
The fresh twist in the actress abduction case, in which Dileep is an accused, came earlier this month when film director Balachandrakumar charged that Dileep and his close aides had conspired to attack the police official who probed the actress abduction case. He also alleged that Dileep, soon after being released on bail, saw the visuals which showed the beleaguered actress who was kidnapped being physically attacked by her tormentors, while she was abducted.
Until this time it was only the trial court that had seen this and by now Balachandrakumar who made this and more disclosures had testified before the police and also a magistrate. Based on these disclosures, the police probe team registered a fresh case. Sensing that he might be arrested, Dileep sought an anticipatory bail.
Popular because of the comic characters he plays on screen, Dileep has been in the news for the wrong reasons after a frontline South Indian heroine complained that she had been abducted and sexually assaulted by a gang of goons in 2017 and the act was filmed to blackmail her.
After the main accused Pulsar Suni (Sunil) was arrested and questioned, the prosecution charged Dileep with being the main conspirator in the case. Dileep was arrested and jailed. He spent two months in prison before getting bail and the trial has been going on.
(With agency inputs)