With the arrest of actor Dileep in the conspiracy case against noted South Indian actress, various business ventures of the former have also been put under public scanner. Last day in Kozhikode, public rage has almost demolished ‘Dhe Puttu’, a restaurant unit which is a joint business venture of the actor with his long-time associate Nadirshah. People in huge numbers had staged a protest march in front of his restaurant with the same name at Edappally, in Kochi, last evening.
This is the first time in the recent history of the state a film celebrity with such a mass appeal and influence is being caught following a serious allegation. Dileep, being one of a few film stars who have forayed into almost all domains of movie business, apart from acting and directing, has also grown big as an entrepreneur over the course of time.
Dileep who kicked off his acting career in 1992, entered into film production in the year 2003 following the huge success of the movie ‘Meesamadhavan’. His first production venture ‘CID Moosa’, had the actor in the lead role. The movie was a big box office hit. Since then the actor has produced around eight movies and almost all of them gave him great returns.
D Cinemas, the multiplex theatre the actor runs at Chalakkudy, also saw the raging masses protesting in front of it last day. Following the public outrage, the officials had to cancel several shows on Monday. The theatre remained closed on Tuesday.
“We cannot say how long things will go like this. We sure don’t believe a personality like ‘Dileepettan’ would ever engage in such a conspiracy. He has always behaved like a caring and considerate big brother who would support us in all our endeavours and used to encourage us to build our own lives along with the association activities. He cannot be wrong. There are many people in police custody who continue to be so because of the dearth of sufficient evidence to prove their innocence. This is yet another such incident and I am sure one day, our hero will be back to normal life,”said an optimistic Riyas Khan who is the chairman of All Kerala Dileep Fans and Welfare Association.
Dileep who is also into film production, exhibition and distribution has launched Film Exhibitors United Organisation of Kerala (FEUOK), in a star-studded function held here in Kochi last month. The arrest has forced the organisation to expel the actor from it. Following the arrest, Association of Malayalam Movie artistes(AMMA) and Film Employees’ Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) has maintained that they have removed the actor from his roles in the associations.
As the police interrogation into the case continues, release of the actor’s latest movie ‘Rama Leela’ has been put on hold. Personnel from film producers’ as well as exhibiters’ associations refused to comment on the arrest and related issues.
Meanwhile, the Kerala Hotels and Restaurants’ Association flayed the act of vandalising ‘Dhe Puttu’ restaurant in Kozhikode. “People playing police is not a healthy practice. ‘Dhe Puttu’ restaurant has other partners apart from Dileep. Even if it is an establishment being run by a police accused, it is not good practice for the public to vandalise the property. Kerala Hotels and Restaurants’ Association is strictly condemning the act and will give whatever support required for the smooth functioning of the hotels,”said G Jayapalan, the association’s state general secretary.
Cover Image from official Facebook page of “Dhe Puttu”.