Kochi-based tattoo artist held for sexually abusing clients

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Kochi: Celebrity tattoo artist P S Sujeesh, facing charges of sexually abusing several young women, surrendered before the police on Saturday. 

Police have registered six cases, including that of rape, against Sujeesh, owner of Inkfected Tattoo Studio at Cheranellore.  

Sujeesh, called out by multiple young women in #MeToo accounts, had been in hiding after the cases were registered against him.

He surrendered before the Cheranellore police around 10 pm on Saturday.

Four police teams from Palarivattom, Elamakkara and Cheranellore were searching for Sujeesh, who had switched off his mobile phone before going into hiding.

It has been suspected that he was hiding in a house at Perumbavoor. Police would record his arrest on Sunday ahead of presenting him in before a court.

Of the six cases, four were registered late on Friday night at Palarivattom police station, and the remaining two by Cheranellore police on Saturday. While five women lodged the complaints in person, the sixth one emailed her complaint. Police said more women are likely to make complaints against him after his arrest. 

Investigators inspected Sujeesh's tattoo studio, which had been remaining closed for several days, and took into custody CCTV visuals, computer, hard disk and other digital evidence. 

The women alleged that they were abused behind closed doors in the studio, which they had visited for tattooing. 

Meanwhile, city police have been inspecting and collecting information on the owners and employees of other tattoo studios. Commissioner C H Nagaraju said police would be checking if any other women had similar experiences in other studios.

Kerala State Women's Commission chairperson P Sathidevi said the panel would offer legal aid to the affected women. The Commission would try to make survivors of sexual abuse to come forward with complaints without hesitation.

The incidents involving Sujeesh came to light after an 18-year-old woman, who had visited his studio for a tattoo, took to social media saying the man had sexually assaulted her. She, however, did not lodge a complaint. 

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