Mohanlal breaks silence, defends AMMA’s decision to reinstate Dileep

Breaking his silence on the row over a film body’s decision to take back actor Dileep, an accused in a sexual assault case, actor Mohanlal on Saturday said they were prepared to look into the grievances raised by Women in Cinema Collective on the issue.

In a statement to the media from London, Mohanlal said describing the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) as “anti-women” was “inhuman.”

AMMA leadership had only stood with the unanimous decision of the members and there was no other vested interest, he said.

Mohanlal had courted huge controversy after the very first meeting chaired by him as president of AMMA decided to take back Dileep into the association.

Meanwhile, a WhatsApp voice clipping allegedly sent by KB Ganesh Kumar, a Left Democratic Front (LDF) lawmaker who is one of AMMA’s vice presidents, to the body’s general secretary Edavela Babu, emerged on Saturday, in which he is heard saying that the actresses who had resigned were “habitual trouble makers” and had always harboured a grudge against the association.

He has also attacked politicians who came out against the association for its controversial decision. Dileep was arrested on charges of conspiracy in the case related to the kidnapping and sexual assault of a Kerala actress in February, 2017 and later released on bail.

Protesting against this, the actress had resigned from the association on June 27 and three of her colleagues also put in their papers, triggering widespread condemnation over AMMA’s decision.

In a statement, Mohanlal said they were all in support of their colleague against whom a heinous attack was made last year. “We are with our sister to this day,” he said in the statement.

The new leadership was prepared to examine the sentiments expressed by the WCC on Dileep’s reinstatement, he said.

“If corrections are needed, it would be made,” the actor said.

Dileep had been expelled from the primary membership of the association after allegations surfaced over his alleged involvement in the attack on the actress last year.

On June 26 at AMMA’s annual general body meeting at Kochi, the unanimous sentiment expressed was to “freeze” the decision to remove Dileep from the association, Mohanlal said.

The actor said he was pained to read the criticism being levelled at AMMA in the past few days.

Some of those who did not participate in the meeting later came out raising opposing voices and announced that they were going out of the association, he said.

The decision to take back Dileep was not informed to him officially either, Mohanlal said.

Even before that the attack against AMMA leadership began, he said.

“Even before knowing what the truth was, many whom we respect, came out opposing us, he said.

As the issue snowballed into a major controversy, Dileep informed the association that he was not keen to become an active worker in the organisation until his innocence was proved.

The actor made his stand clear shortly after the Women in Cinema Collective demanded an emergency executive.

Kerala Women’s Commission and some state ministers had come out in open criticism against the decision to take back Dileep.

(With inputs from PTI)

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