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Six FIRs Alleging Sexual Harassment Filed on ‘Inkfected’ Tattoo Artist, Sujeesh

Kerala police has registered six FIRs against tattoo artist PS Sujeesh alleging sexual harassment and rape.

Published
India
2 min read
Six FIRs Alleging Sexual Harassment Filed on ‘Inkfected’ Tattoo Artist, Sujeesh
i

Six complaints were filed by women on Saturday, 5 March accusing a Kerala-based popular tattoo artist of rape, sexual assault and molestation. PS Sujeesh, an artist from Inkfected Tattoo Studio in Ernakulam's Edappally who was absconding for three days, surrendered late Saturday night. He has been sent to judicial custody for 14 days.

The Kerala police registered six First Information Reports (FIR) on Saturday at Cheranellore and Palarivattom police stations.

"So far, six women have filed formal complaints with us. If there are other women who want to speak up, we shall provide protection. We have started investigation and we shall soon find more evidence to substantiate their claims," VU Kuriakose, Kochi Deputy Commissioner of Police told The Quint.

The complaints were filed after the social media post of an 18-year-old woman, who recounted her traumatic experience at the tattoo studio, went viral. The police have reached out to the woman but she has not yet filed a complaint.

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A Post That Opened a Can of Worms

After the Reddit post by the woman a storm of ‘MeToo’ allegations against Sujeesh, surfaced on social media. Several women accused Sujeesh of asking them inappropriate questions, forcing oral sex, physical abuse, and rape.

Via Kochi, an Instagram page that has been documenting the complaints, helped survivors get legal aid. Kerala High Court lawyer Raghul Sudheesh told The Quint, “The police have assured they will probe the matter thoroughly. Two girls were called for medical examination.”

Sujeesh was booked under non-bailable offences.

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Complaints Date Back to 2018

Sujeesh, who has an Instagram following of over 52,000 people, has not responded to the allegations. The Quint has been trying to reach him since 3 March. He has not responded yet.

Many of the accounts reveal that the cases date back to 2018. Both Palarivattom and Cheranalloor police are roped in to probe the case.

However, several survivors told The Quint that they were apprehensive of filing complaints with the police due to the absence of evidence.

Jia* (name changed) who has been collating the details of the survivors said, “This is shocking. We know there is no evidence but the testimonies of so many women should be proof enough. At least 10 women have agreed to file formal complaints."

"The problem with my case is that I have no evidence so I don't think I'll be taken seriously. The incident happened two years ago. I didn't put up any stories of getting the tattoo done. I paid by cash and don't have even the bills. So who will believe me?" Reshmi* (name changed), a survivor said.

The Palarivottam SHO told The Quint that they’ve taken cognisance of the issue.

“Even if there is an allegation that is coming to light after a long time, say after years, we will take it seriously. Even if there is no absolute evidence we will find that out proof through our probe. But since we haven't got any complaints we haven't been able to investigate it thoroughly," said the senior police officer.

VU Kuriakose, Kochi DCP too assured that investigation will be thorough and the women will be protected.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read and Breaking News at the Quint, browse for more from news and india

Topics:  Sexual Harassment   Rape   Tattoo Artist 

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