Women's group slams move to reinstate actor Dileep

Women's group slams move to reinstate actor Dileep

Malayalam actor Dileep.

An organisation of woman professionals in the Malayalam film industry has hit out at an actors’ association over its decision to reinstate actor Dileep, the eighth accused in a case involving abduction and sexual assault of a popular actress.

The Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) had during a general body meeting in Kochi, on Sunday, decided to re-issue Dileep’s membership which was revoked following his arrest in the case.

On Monday, Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) – an organisation formed after the February 2017 assault – condemned the “misogynist” move.

The WCC sought to know from AMMA if there was any change in circumstances that made it revoke its earlier decision and pointed out the impropriety in reinstating the actor before trial in the case was completed. Prominent members of the women’s collective, including actresses Manju Warrier and Rima Kallingal, were not present at the AMMA meeting.

Sunday’s meeting was AMMA’s first after superstar Mohanlal formally took over as its new president. It was reported that the decision to reinstate Dileep was unanimous. Some of the members are learnt to have contended that rules of the association were not followed when Dileep, treasurer of the association, was ousted.

The WCC, in a statement, said the survivor of the assault was also a member of AMMA and with the decision on Sunday, the association had further shamed her.

“As a democratic organisation, what is the message you are sending out to the society in Kerala? By taking such decisions regarding a person who is facing a trial, have you not challenged the justice system?” it asked in the statement.

The actress was abducted and molested in a moving car in Kochi on February 17, 2017, by the prime accused Sunilkumar aka ‘Pulsar’ Suni.

The prosecution listed Dileep as the key conspirator who allegedly hired Suni for the assault.

The Kerala High Court granted bail to Dileep in October 2017, after he spent 85 days in jail. Earlier this month, Dileep approached the high court seeking a CBI probe in the case, citing discrepancies in the police investigation.