Kochi: Actor Dileep and others, who appeared before the Crime Branch office at Kalamassery here for the second consecutive day on Monday in a case registered against them for allegedly conspiring against investigating officers probing the sexual assault of an actress in 2017, were interrogated for another 11 hours.
The actor his brother P Sivakumar (Anoop), brother-in-law T N Suraj, friend Baiju Chengamanad and driver Krishnadas (Appu) appeared before the crime branch officials at 9 am for interrogation as directed by the Kerala High Court. They left the office at 8 pm.
Earlier on Sunday, the accused were questioned for 11 hours by five separate teams under the supervision of Superintendent of Police M P Mohanachandran and their statements were recorded. The interrogation was monitored by ADGP S Sreejith and IG Gopesh Agarwal.
The actor and other accused will have to appear before the Crime Branch again on Tuesday for the final day of questioning according to the directions of the Kerala High Court.
The Crime Branch is expected to submit a report on the three-day interrogation and material evidences collected during the investigation before the high court on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Crime Branch sources said there were discrepancies in the statements of the accused.
Recently, a former close associate of Dileep, Balachandrakumar, a movie director who had fallen out with the actor, revealed that Dileep had conspired to teach the investigating officer "a lesson".
He had alleged that Dileep, while watching a YouTube video of the then Superintendent of Police A V George in relation with the case, had spoken about "teaching a lesson" to the officer and engaging rowdy elements for it. Dileep's accomplices, according to Balachandrakumar, had said that they would have to spend Rs 1.5 crore for this.
Balachandrakumar made the deposition before a magistrate's court along with a few audio recordings he had made at Dileep's residence.
The Crime Branch had, on January 9, registered the case on a complaint filed by an investigating officer based on a purported audio clip of Dileep, which was released by a TV channels.
The actor and five 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).
Dileep has claimed that this apprehension was borne out of the past conduct of the complainant officer who has been trying to falsely implicate him in the sexual assault case.
Directors Rafi, Arun Gopi summoned
The cops also summoned Malayalam directors Rafi and Arun Gopi for questioning apart from the manager of the Grand Productions, the film production company owned by Dileep.
SP Mohanachandran said Rafi was summoned to identify certain voices in the sound clips handed over by Director Balachandrakumar.
He said the manager and other two employees of Grand productions, owned by Dileep, were also summoned and their statements recorded.
However, director Rafi, while talking to reporters after the interrogation, refused to comment when asked about the reason behind questioning him in the case. He also refused to comment on the relationship between Balachandrakumar and Dileep.
However, he said Dileep was interested in doing the film with Balachandrakumar and it was only recently that the director informed him of dropping the project.
Dileep had earlier reportedly told the Crime Branch officials that Balachandrakumar had threatened him for backing out of the project and had extorted Rs 10 lakh from him.
Meanwhile, Crime Branch sources said the agency was close to making someone an approver in case. It is also learnt that the investigating team will be interrogating the accused with regard to certain contradictions in their Sunday's statements.
On Saturday, the High Court, while considering the anticipatory bail plea of the actor, had granted interim protection to Dileep from arrest but directed him and other accused to appear before the investigating officers on January 23, 24 and 25 for interrogation.
Crime Branch sources had earlier said that the interrogation of the accused will be recorded as they suspect that the actor and others might approach the court alleging harassment during questioning.
Justice Gopinath P had directed the accused to fully cooperate with the investigation and directed them to be available for interrogation from 9 am to 8 pm on the three days.
The court had also warned the accused that in case of non-cooperation, the interim protection from arrest will be lifted and custody will be granted to the Crime Branch.
The court had directed the public prosecutor to submit a report on the interrogation and material evidence collected in a sealed cover on January 27, when the matter would be heard again.
The actress who has worked in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films was abducted and allegedly molested in her car for two hours by some of the accused, who had 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 some of the accused to blackmail the actress.
There are 10 accused in the case and initially, police arrested seven people. Dileep was arrested subsequently and released on bail later.
(With PTI inputs)