A part of the conversation which the police have submitted in court, is about Manju Warrier, who is an important witness in the case.
“Did Manju (Warrier) drink? Actually, I don’t know, I haven’t seen either, I should say yes, right? Yes, you should say she did.”
This is the transcript of a conversation allegedly between Anoop, the brother of Malayalam actor Dileep, who is accused of masterminding the sexual assault of a fellow actor in 2017, and their lawyer Philip. In the two-hour conversation which the police have submitted in court, the lawyer is purportedly heard tutoring Anoop to present him before the bench hearing the actor assault case.
The person they are discussing is Manju Warrier, a popular actor and ex-wife of Dileep. Manju is also an important witness in the actor assault case. Actor Bhavana was assaulted in February 2017 and Dileep was named as the mastermind who allegedly paid for a gang to carry out and capture the crime on camera.
In the transcript, the lawyer is heard urging Anoop to say that, “around the time she left the house (in 2012), she used to drink. Not before that.” The lawyer is also heard asking his client to say that she would not drink at home, but she would come home drunk. This despite Anoop saying that he has never seen Manju drinking.
“So I will say there was a smell?” Anoop asks, to which the lawyer replies, “Just say she has come home drunk several times. Everyone at home knew. Then you will be asked, did you ask chetan (Dileep) about this? Say yes. What did chetan say? He said he will see, he will talk, but he didn’t particularly do anything. Did chetan and Manju fight over this? No, they did not fight in front of us. Did he have no objection that wife was drinking? Maybe he had opposition, but did not speak in front of us. Does chetan drink? He has not touched alcohol for more than 10 years (sic).”
The conversation also mentions Geethu Mohandas, an award-winning director and actor who is Manju’s close friend. “How does Manju start drinking? Say that I think with a circle of friends like Geethu Mohandas coming to her life, she began drinking,” the transcript states the lawyer as saying.
According to the Kerala police, the reason why Dileep was angry with Bhavana was because she informed Manju Warrier that he was having an affair with another actor, Kavya Madhavan. Even during her statement to the police in 2017, Manju Warrier had said, “I divorced Dileep in 2015 and the extramarital relationship between him and Kavya was the reason behind it. Even before we separated two years before that, there was constant friction between us regarding his relationship with Kavya. And at times, that has paved the way for major fights between us. What I heard from the assaulted actor only reinforced what I already knew about the two.”
The lawyer however coaches Anoop to say that the rift between Dileep and Manju was to do with the latter’s ambitions.
In this regard, the two people discuss Kuchipudi artist Geeta Padmakumar, who was hired as a dance teacher to Dileep’s daughter. “But did she teach her? No, after two months she began teaching Manju Warrier…this Geetha Padmakumar, does she have a role in destroying chetan’s family life? Say, I think she has a role. She realised that if she taught meenutty (the daughter) she wouldn’t be famous but if she taught Manju she would get some fame. So she stopped teaching meenutty and began teaching Manju,” the lawyer is heard saying.
The lawyer then goes on to explain that Manju’s ambitions soon became bigger, and she befriended director Shrikumar Menon. Shrikumar became her manager and she started doing dance shows, leading to more conflict between the couple.
Read: Malayalam actor assault: What Manju, Rimi and Kavya told the police about Dileep
In another development, the Kerala High Court on Tuesday declined to quash an FIR against actor Dileep and others, accusing them of conspiring to intimidate and kill officials probing the 2017 actor assault case. Justice Ziyad Rahman A A also declined to transfer the case to the CBI, saying that there was not “sufficient force” in the allegations by the actor that proper and fair investigation was not possible in the matter.
Transcript of the audio submitted to the Kerala High Court:
Adv: Did Manju drink?
Anoop: Actually, I don’t know, I haven’t seen also, I should say yes, right?
Adv: Yes, you should say she did. [You should say that] around the time she left the house ( in 2012), she used to drink. Not before that. When they ask, did she drink at home? Say no.
So how did you know she was drinking? Say she would come home drunk.
Anoop: So I will say there was a smell?
Advocate: Just say she has come home drunk several times. Everyone at home knew. Then you will be asked did you ask chetan (Dileep) about this? Say yes. What did chetan say? He said he will see, he will talk, but he didn’t particularly do anything. Did chetan and Manju fight over this? No, did not fight in front of us. Did he have no objection that wife was drinking? Maybe he had opposition, but did not speak in front of us.
Edited by Cris and Nitin B