Another woman alleges assault by youth accused in Kochi flat rape case

Martin Joseph Pulikottil, who is accused of locking up and torturing a young woman in a Kochi apartment for months.
Martin Joseph Pulikottil, who is accused of locking up and torturing a young woman in a Kochi apartment for months.

Kochi: Another young woman has filed a complaint against Martin Joseph Pulikkottil, who is accused of raping and torturing a Kannur woman for nearly a month at a Kochi apartment. The woman accused Martin of threatening her and assaulting her physically.

“The latest complaint says that Martin physically harmed and threatened the woman,” said City Police Commissioner of Kochi C H Nagaraju. He said that a first information (FIR) has been filed against Martin.

“Meanwhile, the police have arrested three persons who had allegedly helped Martin to go in hiding. However, their identity cannot be disclosed now as it will affect the investigation,” said Nagaraju.

The police have also seized the vehicles used by the accused, he added. “We have intensified the search for Martin. As the court has not prevented his arrest, it will take place soon,” the Commissioner added.

Search in Thrissur

By tracking the mobile tower location, the police learnt that Martin had reached his hometown Mundur in Thrissur the other day and a team is now camping in the area. However, Martin’s relatives claimed that he had not visited his house in Thrissur for the last one month.

The Kochi Police carried out ispections at the houses of Martin’s relatives and took his brother into custody. A vehicle used by the brother was also seized. “Martin’s brother was let off only on Wednesday. But some police officers are still using his vehicle,” their father Joseph Pulikkottil told Manorama Online.

Accused on the run

It was on April 8 that a young woman hailing from Kannur approached the Ernakulam Central Police Station with a complaint of harassment against Martin. When no action was taken against him even after two months, the matter appeared in the media, forcing the police to act.

By this time, Martin had vacated his apartment and fled. He soon moved the Sessions Court for bail but the plea was rejected. Though he subsequently approached the Kerala High Court, the court directed the government to file a detailed report. The High Court also ruled that the police could arrest Martin if he could be traced.

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