Top Malayalam actors met at the Kochi home of mega star Mammootty on Tuesday and sacked arrested actor Dileep from Malayalam Movie Artists Association (AMMA)
Dileep, Kerala’s popular actor, was sent to jail in the kidnapping and sexual assault of an actress.
The actor was arrested on Monday night based on evidence police gathered during the process of investigation.
“Dileep has been arrested. We are questioning him. Arrest is a process of investigation,” Kerala Police chief Loknath Behra told reporters.
He said no other person has been taken into custody in connection with the case.
“We are very clear about proper treatment. There will be no violation of rights and all legal processes will be followed,” Behera said.
Meanwhile, the arrest of Dileep left the Malayalam film industry shell-shocked, especially directors and producers of his finished and ongoing projects.
According to the industry sources, the arrest of Dileep, whose star-value is said to be just behind superstars Mohanlal and Mammootty, would cost Mollywood a massive loss of Rs 50-60 crore.
Release of “Ramaleela”, one of his big-budget movies directed by debutant Arun Gopi, has been postponed.
Though producer Tomichan Mulakupadam said the movie would be released on July 21, the chances are less for it to hit the theatres on the announced date in view of widespread protests against the actor.
The shooting of “Kammarasambhavam”, helmed by Ratheesh Ambatt, and 3D movie, “Professor Dinkan” is also halfway through.
“Saddam Sivan” and “Njarana Mon” are the other projects in the pipeline.
Senior director of Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA), Vinayan has described the arrest as a “scar on Malayalam cinema”.
Bina Paul, senior editor and leader of Women in Cinema Collective, an outfit of women in Malayalam cinema, said they were “extremely pained” that a person from the industry was involved in the incident.
“But we believe that justice has to be served at any cost (to the victim),” she said.
Soon after the arrest, actress Remya Nambeesan, a close friend of the victim, said “I am happy that justice has prevailed.”
Script writer Deedi Damodaran, director Vidhu Vincent and dubbing artiste Bhagyalakshmi also expressed shock at the recent developments and reinstated their solidarity with the victim.
A mimicry artist, Dileep, who had entered the film industry as an assistant director over two decades ago, enjoyed an unquestionable position in all areas of cinema, including production and distribution, besides acting.
He held key positions in all major outfits connected to Malayalam cinema.