The Kerala crime branch has found a new lead in actor Dileep’s conspiracy to murder case. Investigation has revealed that a cyber expert named Sai Sankar had helped the accused in deleting data from the phones that were later submitted to the court.
Dileep is currently under trial as the chief conspirator behind the 2017 female actor abduction and sexual assault as well as under investigation for allegedly plotting to kill the officers involved in that case.
It may be noted that as per HC’s order, Dileep and the other accused had submitted their mobile phones as part of the probe in the conspiracy to murder case. The gadgets are being scrutinized by cyber forensic experts. The crime branch had earlier said that some of the phones that were surrendered to the court’s registry had been tampered with and had some data deleted from them before they were turned in.
In the recent development, it has been found that Sankar had rented rooms from January 29 to 31 in two luxury hotels in Kochi, where he cleared data from the phones in question. He had reportedly also gone to the house of Dileep’s lawyer and had accessed Wi-Fi from there as well as the hotels. Data such as WhatsApp calls, chats, phone calls and personal information are said to have been removed from the phone.
The police has seized the iMac laptop allegedly used by Sankar to delete data from the phones.
It is notable that Sankar had earlier claimed that crime branch officials had harassed him into giving a statement against Dileep. He filed a petition at Kerala High Court stating that he was threatened by crime branch officials into providing a statement that he had seen some visuals on the actor’s phone, which were later destroyed under the direction of Dileep and his lawyers. He said that, contrary to this, he had not tampered with the contents of the phone but had only transferred some photos from it to a pen drive, as per the actor’s request.
On Thursday, the police raided Sankar’s flats in Kozhikode and summoned him for an investigation on Friday. However, he did not appear for the interrogation citing Covid-19 symptoms and has sought permission to appear after 10 days.
For a full timeline of the female actor abduction and assault case, see here.