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Dileep’s arrest to affect Malayalam film industry

IANS | Thiruvananthapuram |

Following the arrest of Malayalam superstar Dileep in connection with the abduction and molestation of a popular actress in February, the work in progress on two of his films has come to an abrupt end, say industry sources.

The release of his film "Ramleela", which was slated for this month, appears to have been postponed and now become uncertain, sources say.

"Ramleela" is Dileep's big budget film produced by Tomichan Mulakupadam, whose Mohanlal-starrer "Pulimurugan" became the first Malayalam film to cross the Rs.100-crore mark.

"Kammara Sambhavam", whose 80 per cent shooting has been completed, is another film that could now be delayed, say sources.

The shooting of "Professor Dinkan" has just begun and with Dileep now in a legal tangle, those behind this venture too may have to suffer losses.

That's not all. People who borrow video CDs of films from video shops have also dumped his films.

"I was at a video shop yesterday and when the owner told me that Dileep's latest film 'Georgechettans Poorem' CDs are available, I felt I should not see it and took another CD instead. The shop owner told me that his several customers now refuse to rent out a Dileep film," a school teacher, who didn't wish to be identified, told IANS.

A few TV channels were slated to air Dileep's films, but are understood to have changed these at the last minute following his arrest for fear of losing the channels' ratings.

Dileep, who has acted in more than 130 films, was the third most popular superstar in the Malayalam film industry after Mammootty and Mohanlal, but as producer of films he stood at the number one position and also owns a string of multiplexes.

He has been remanded in judicial custody for 14 days since Monday night.