In an interesting development to the sensational Kochi actress attack case, Women in Cinema Collective came out in support of the victim and strongly condemned the alleged attempts to tarnish her image. 

The newly launched outfit of women in Malayalam film industry said that any attempt to put the victim in bad light and point fingers of suspicion at her is not acceptable. Insulting the plaintiff in a case which is under the consideration of the court amounts to challenging the Indian judicial system, the Collective said in a statement on their Facebook page.

The group's statement came a day after actors Dileep and Salim Kumar made objectionable comments against the actress. Dileep's name has been linked to the case ever since the attack happened in February, and the actor has been trying desperately to clear it.

Kerala actress attack: Victim finally breaks silence; read what she has to say

Speaking on a show in a private television channel on Monday, Dileep had said that the actress and Pulsar Suni, the prime accused, were close friends and had spent time together in Goa and several other shooting locations. The actor also said the incident is a lesson that one should be careful about who he/she befriends, and insisted that he has no association with criminals like Pulsar Suni.

The same day Salim Kumar had put up a Facebook post in support of Dileep, saying the actress should be subjected to a lie detector test, while Aju Varghese had named the victim in his Facebook post. Both actors apologised and retracted their statements later.

The Collective, which comprises woman actors, directors, script writers and singers of the industry, asked people especially those in the film world to refrain from making statements against the victim. 

Ready to undergo lie detector test to prove innocence: Dileep

"The case regarding the assault suffered by one of our colleagues is in the primary stage of court procedures. At this juncture, any opinion that humiliates and points a finger of suspicion on her is highly condemnable. Any such attempt to insult women is an 'unpardonable' act and violation of human rights guaranteed by the Constitution," the collective stated. 

Actress Manju Warrier, director Anjali Menon and editor and vice-chairperson of the state film academy Bina Paul are some of the leading personalities associated with the outfit. 

The young actress, popular across South Indian industries, was kidnapped on February 17 while she was travelling from Thrissur to Kochi. The attackers later dumped near the house of actor-director Lal, who informed the police. The actress was allegedly molested during the abduction.