Kochi tattoo artist raped me, claims 18-year-old client in #MeToo post; others too expose him

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Kochi: A famous tattoo artist in Kochi is absconding after one of his woman clients narrated how she was sexually abused at his parlour. Her #MeToo posts encouraged other targets to open up. Kochi City Police Commissioner CH Nagaraju announced the police would register a case as soon it received a complaint from any of the survivors.

Police were interacting with the survivors of the attack. The case would be registered even if the complaint is received through telephone, Nagaraju said.

The issue came to the limelight after an 18-year-old victim alleged through "Reddit" social media platform that she was raped inside the tattoo parlour named ‘inkfected’ run by the celebrity tattoo artist. Later, a group of women have come out against the artist, raising similar kinds of sexual harassment charges against him.

The girl narrated the sexual harassment that she faced last week at the tattoo shop. Though she did tattooing there many times earlier, it was for the first time that she faced such a bad experience.

"I went with one of my boy friends to the tattoo shop. I even told my friend that I felt secure at the place," she said.

According to the victim, she wanted to paint a symbolic tattoo of vagina with wings. Then he asked me the meaning of this tattoo. He also enquired about my age. Then he started speaking with sexual overtones.

She alleged that the tattoo artist asked her inappropriate questions such as whether she had sex earlier, whether she is a virgin, whether she is having periods, and so on. She said she laid on the bed with fear lurking inside since he had in his hands the tattoo needle. Later, the tattoo artist allegedly raped her. But she could not react then as she felt that she would not get justice as she didn't have witnesses and proof on her side.

The woman, in her social media post, requested others who had faced such an ordeal, to share their bad experiences. She also asked everyone to publicise her post to the maximum.

Old targets too expose him

In a chain reaction, many of those who had been subjected to similar sexual harassment one or two years ago came up with accusations against the tattoo artist below her social media post. Even some minor girls came forward to speak about the sexual harassment they faced at the tattoo shop.

A woman wrote like this, "Two years ago at the age of 21, I went there to get a tattoo. The tattoo was fixed somewhere around the backbone. It was so painful at the beginning of tattooing. He asked me to remove the brassier. No other cloth was provided to cover my body. Later on, he touched my breasts. After two years now, I have realised that I was subjected to sexual harassment by the artist."

How he abused clients

His modus operandi in general was to lock the door from inside the tattoo room once the woman customer enters. No one else was allowed inside the room. Once the tattoo-fixing begins, he will start sexually abusing women. Many girls complained that they came to know his real character after one of the survivors narrated her bad experiences while she was at the tattoo shop.

However, the tattoo artist went absconding after the social media post by the woman went viral.

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