Kochi, May 16 (PTI) The crime branch of the Kerala Police on Monday arrested Sarath G Nair, a hotel owner and friend of actor Dileep, an accused in the sexual assault case of an actress.

Police sources said Nair was arrested for destroying evidence related to the assault case.

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The probe team, based on a statement given to them by movie director Balachandrakumar, suspect that Nair was the VIP who had allegedly visited the house of Dileep after he got bail in the case.

The crime branch had on January 9 registered the case on a complaint filed by an investigating officer based on a purported audio clip of Dileep, which was released by a TV channel in which the actor was allegedly heard conspiring to attack the official.

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Dileep has claimed that this apprehension was borne out of the past conduct of the complainant officer who has been trying to falsely implicate him in the sexual assault case.

The actress who has worked in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films was allegedly abducted and molested in her car for two hours by some of the accused, who had forced their way into the vehicle on the night of February 17, 2017 and later escaped in a busy area.

The entire act was filmed by some of the accused to blackmail the actress. There are 10 accused in the case and initially police arrested seven people. Dileep was arrested subsequently and released on bail later.

The actor and five others, including Nair, were booked under various provisions of the IPC, including Sections 116 (abetment), 118 (concealing design to commit offence), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 506 (criminal intimid

ation), and 34 (criminal act done by several people).

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