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Kerala Tattoo Artist Sujeesh Denied Bail in Two Cases of Alleged Sexual Assault

At least 25 women spoke on social media accusing the Kerala tattoo artist Sujeesh PS of sexual harassment and rape.

Published
India
2 min read
Kerala Tattoo Artist Sujeesh Denied Bail in Two Cases of Alleged Sexual Assault
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Kerala tattoo artist Sujeesh PS who was accused of rape and sexual harassment was denied bail by a sessions court in Kerala on 22 February.

Additional Sessions Judge Shibu Thomas rejected both bail applications noting that the investigation was still in the preliminary stage.

He observed that though there was a delay in the filing of the complaints, several women have accused the artist of sexual assault in his parlour. At least 25 women have spoken up on social media and the posts have gone viral.

"Though there is a delay of eight months in filing the complaint, I am not inclined to grant bail to the petitioner at this stage considering the nature of offence and strong similar antecedents of petitioner and stage of investigation. Granting of bail to the petitioner at this stage may affect smooth progress of the investigation and possibility of the petitioner influencing the witnesses and interfering with the investigation cannot be ruled out," he said.

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A Reddit Post That Led to a #MeToo Movement

It began on 2 March with an anonymous post by an 18-year-old woman who on Reddit alleged that Sujeesh PS, the man who runs the tattoo studio Inkfected, sexually assaulted her while tattooing her. This triggered a number of testimonies that accused the artist of asking the women inappropriate questions, forcing oral sex, physical abuse, and rape.

The tattoo artist was taken into custody by Cheranalloor Police on 6 March following the complaints by six women. The accused was charged with cases under sections 354 (intent to outrage modesty) and 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code.

Sujeesh was running a tattoo studio at Edappally in Kochi. Some of the survivors had mentioned in their testimonies that he allegedly did not let the women’s friends accompany to the locked room where he inked.

Many survivors had told The Quint that they were apprehensive of registering a formal complaint due to the absence of evidence as most of the allegations were from four years ago.

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

The case has resurrected the #MeToo movement in the state. Several woman have shared their experiences of sexual abuse at the hands of make-up artists, psychologists, doctors, and beauticians.

(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   Sexual Assault   MeToo 

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