Crime Branch, a specialised wing of Kerala police investigating the actor assault case, have served summons to actor Kavya Madhavan asking her to be present for an investigation on Monday, April 11. Kavya Madhavan is also the wife of actor Dileep, the eighth accused and allegedly chief conspirator in the case related to the brutal assault which happened in February 2017.
So, why has Kavya Madhavan been called in for questioning at this juncture? On January 13, 2022, during the raid by Kerala Crime Branch officials at the houses of actor Dileep and his brother Anoop, several phones belonging to Dileep, Anoop, their brother-in-law Sooraj and another relative Appu, were seized.
The police believe that from a phone call recording of Dileep’s brother-in-law Sooraj, it seems that Kavya Madhavan was aware of the crime and its planning. In the recording, submitted to the court, the voice that purportedly belongs to Sooraj can be heard hinting that Kavya Madhavan had some involvement in the crime.
A lawyer associated with the actor assault case told TNM that this cannot be ignored and the police have to investigate the veracity of the claim.
When asked if there would be a shift of the onus from Dileep to Kavya, a source in the police team said that the only angle they were pursuing is if Kavya was aware of the crime and how far she was involved in it. “We have evidence of Dileep meeting Pulsar Suni, there is no doubt he is the mastermind,” the source said.
The Kerala High Court had earlier ordered that all further investigation in the actor assault case must be concluded by April 15. However, stating that “fresh facts” are coming to light, the police have sought an extension of time for completing the investigation. The police, in their petition seeking for extension, have stated that “more than two lakh pages, 11,161 videos, 11,238 audio clips, more than two lakh images, 1,597 documents” were retrieved and only 90% of data from the two mobile phones used by Dileep (eighth accused) have been verified so far.
They have also said that the interrogation of several people, including Kavya Madhavan, can be done “effectively only after the complete verification of the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL reports)” of the digital data from the phones seized from the accused. However, the probe team had tried to question Kavya “on crucial information received from the digital evidence” but they were told that she was in Chennai and will be available only next week.
The survivor, who has worked in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films, was abducted and sexually assaulted in a van by a man named Pulsar Suni, who was accompanied by a few others. The entire act was filmed by these persons to blackmail the actor. The prosecution’s case is that Dileep paid Pulsar Suni to assault the actor and record the visuals.
The mystery of Dileep’s phone
On April 6, the Kerala Crime Branch told a magistrate court in Aluva that 12 chats were intentionally deleted from Dileep’s phone before the actor handed it in for investigation. This includes chats with a prominent Malayalam actor. They also said that most of the 12 numbers were registered in Dubai, and some belong to businessmen. Further, among the deleted chats are those with Dileep’s wife Kavya Madhavan and his brother-in-law Sooraj.
However, in a fresh twist to the case, a hacker named Sai Shankar told Reporter TV that these 12 chats were just smoke screens and there were other damaging chats which Dileep and his lawyers made sure were hidden. According to Sai Shankar, the 12 chats were deleted to mislead the police and lead them on a wild goose chase.