Woman locked up in Kochi flat, raped, tortured for months; accused on the run

Martin Joseph Pulikottil
Martin Joseph Pulikottil, who is accused of locking up and torturing a young woman in a Kochi apartment for months. (R) Images of the burn injuries sustained by the young woman.

Kochi: In a shocking incident reported from Kochi, a young woman was sexually assaulted and brutally tortured in a flat. In her complaint to the police, the woman, a native of Kannur, said that she was subjected to abuse at the flat for weeks.

The woman revealed that she suffered for 22 days from February 15 to March 8. But the cops are yet to nab the accused, Martin Joseph.

After she got stuck in Kochi during the last lockdown, the woman started staying with Martin with whom she had prior acquaintance. They got acquainted while she was working in Ernakulam. They stayed together for almost a year.

But the woman in her complaint stated that Martin started constantly harassing her from last February. The woman had to endure brutal sexual abuse and torture. She sustained burn injuries and was even forced to drink urine. The assault took place at an apartment near Kochi's Marine Drive.

Martin, who recorded private images of the woman, threatened that he would release these if she leaves the flat or reveals the assault. Apart from assault, he tortured the woman by pouring hot water over her body, hitting her with belt and broom, pouring water mixed with chilli powder in the eyes, and slapping her on the face.

The woman escaped from the flat when Martin went outside to get food. The woman went into hiding but after Martin kept calling her with threats to release her video, she lodged a complaint with the police. Though the Ernakulam central police tried to take him into custody, he escaped.

Apart from assaulting her, he also swindled her money. The accused took Rs 5 lakh from her by claiming that he would invest it in share market and return the amount once he makes profit. He had said he would return Rs 40,000 per month but this did not happen.

Though it has been two months since the incident, the police have not been able to take Martin into custody. The police claimed that they have not been able to nab the accused due to the Covid situation and lockdown.

Martin had approached the court, seeking anticipatory bail. He has been slapped with charges of rape among others.

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