The survivor in the 2017 female actor abduction and sexual assault case met with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday, and expressed her concerns regarding the investigation at the secretariat.
The meeting took place just a few days after the survivor moved Kerala High Court, noting that there have been attempts to derail the case.
Addressing the media, the survivor said that the CM has given assurance to support her, in the ongoing case. “I am very satisfied. I believe I was able to convey all my concerns. He has given me complete assurance to stand by my side, in this case. I have faith in his words and I am very thankful for it,” she added.
Further, the survivor clarified that she did not speak against the government in her petition to the HC, and sought an apology if it had come out that way. She reiterated that she had only submitted her concerns regarding the case in her petition.
“I wanted to meet him (CM) for a long time. But it did not happen due to various reasons. This is a crucial time, now and I felt I needed to meet with him. I have spoken to him about the case proceedings. He has assured that the government will lend all the support for the investigation. I have received a positive response. I hope that justice will be done,” she said.
In February 2017, the female actor, who predominantly works in Malayalam and Kannada cinema, was abducted and sexually assaulted in a moving car by a gang of men, en route Kochi from Thrissur.
Actor Dileep is currently facing trial as the chief conspirator in this case. At the end of 2021, the assault case gained momentum, and a further probe was launched, when some serious allegations were levelled against Dileep by filmmaker Balachandra Kumar. Later, a new case was also registered against the actor and his associates, for allegedly conspiring to kill the investigating officers in the assault case.
The survivor moved HC at the time, when the Crime Branch had concluded the further probe and filed an additional charge sheet, naming actor Dileep’s friend Sharath, as another accused in the case. Recently, he was arrested and released on bail for allegedly destroying crucial evidence.
Earlier, the survivor had critically commented on the state government’s intentions as well as the integrity of the trial court judge hearing the case, in a petition. She alleged that Dileep unlawfully influenced some of the politicians in the ruling party through his sources. Stating that, while the state government initially supported her, and allowed for a free, fair and full-fledged probe, the survivor pointed out that the system is reverting from doing the same, at present.
The survivor also questioned the integrity of the trial court judge and noted that “the actions of the presiding officer is highly suspicious.”
On Tuesday, the Kerala High Court Justice Kauser Edappagath was recused from hearing the survivor’s petition, as she had sought for the case to be listed under a different bench before the Registrar.
For a full timeline of the female actor abduction and assault case, see here.