Sunday, December 3, 2023

‘I shall continue this journey’: Sexual assault survivor actor in Kerala speaks out

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For the first time, the popular South Indian female actor who is a survivor in sexual assault case, in which Malayalam actor Dileep is accused of being the mastermind, has spoken up in public, using one of her official social media pages.

“This has not been an easy journey. The journey from being a victim to becoming a survivor,” she said in her note on Instagram.

This is the first time she’s used her own social media account to release a statement about the assault she faced and fight she is continuing.

“To see justice prevail, to get wrongdoers punished and to ensure no one else goes through such an ordeal again, I shall continue this journey,” read her note.

“For 5 years now, my name and my identity have been suppressed under the weight of the assault inflicted on me,” she said.

The actor went on to say: “Though I am not the one who has committed the crime, there have been many attempts to humiliate, silence and isolate me. But at such times I have had some who stepped forward to keep my voice alive. Now when I hear so many voices speak up for me I know that I am not alone in this fight for justice.”

The actor also thanked people around who have stood by her in the fight.

“To see justice prevail, to get wrongdoers punished and to ensure no one else goes through such an ordeal again, I shall continue this journey. For all those who are standing with me – a heartfelt thank you for your love,” read the note.

Actor Dileep is accused number eight in the sexual assault case and has been accused of paying a man named Pulsar Suni to kidnap and sexually assault the female actor.

The Instagram post comes soon after two important turns in the case, 1) the Special Public Prosecutor, VN Anilkumar’s resignation protesting the attitude of the judge and 2) director Balachandra Kumar’s serious allegations against Dileep.

Five days ago, conveying her anguish over the recent turn of events in the case and saying the fate of the case is in jeopardy, the female actor has written to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

In the letter to Pinarayi Vijayan, the actor has asked the CM to look into the matter and appoint a capable Special Public Prosecutor at the earliest.

SSPs’ resignations

Anilkumar is the second prosecutor who was representing the female actor to resign in the case. In 2020, SPP A Suresan had quit, taking strong objection to derogatory remarks made by the judge in the case.

The prosecution had also made repeated attempts to transfer the case to another judge but the said requests were rejected first by the Additional Sessions Court and then the Kerala High Court.

Director’s allegations

Director Balachandra Kumar, who claims to be Dileep’s friend, had recently appeared in the media and levelled serious allegations against Dileep.

Kumar filed a petition to the Chief Minister with copies of audio clips of conversations between Dileep and associates regarding the “video of the sexual assault on the female actor.”

Speaking to media, Kumar said that he witnessed Dileep watching the video clip with his brother Anoop and a few others.

“I was too scared to disclose these details earlier,” Kumar said.

On February 2017, the popular South Indian actor was abducted on her way to work, sexually assaulted and videotaped in the small town of Kerala. Subsequently police arrested her coworker and actor Dileep, who were holding many executive positions in the Film Industry thus making the accused in an influential position over the sexually assaulted woman.

Dileep, one of the most popular actors in Malayalam cinema, had spent 85 days in judicial custody and is awaiting trial over masterminding the kidnap and sexual assault of the female actor.

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