Actor Dileep on Thursday turned down the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes’ decision to revoke his expulsion from the organisation. The actor had been expelled from the guild for members of the film industry in July 2017 after his arrest in connection with the abduction and sexual assault of a Malayalam actress. The association decided to bring him back on Sunday after Mohanlal took charge as president.

In a letter to the association’s general secretary, Dileep said: “I came to came to know about the organisation’s decision to reinstate me through media reports. While I thank my colleagues and office bearers of the association, I have decided to distance myself from any organisation until I prove my innocence. I feel sorry that the organisation is being targeted for being linked with me.”

About 80 academics, writers, artists, lawyers and activists have signed an open letter condemning the decision. On Wednesday, four actresses – the assault survivor as well as Remya Nambeesan, Rima Kallingal and Geethu Mohandas – stepped down from the guild for film industry members in protest of the decision to reinstate Dileep.

The actress had been allegedly abducted and sexually assaulted by a group of men on February 17, 2017, near Angamaly, Ernakulam. Reports said that Dileep, who was arrested in July, had allegedly planned the attack on the actress because of a personal grudge. Dileep and another co-conspirator had then hired a group of men to carry out the crime, according to the police.