Two organizers of the “kiss of love protest” were among 6 pimps who were arrested by Kerala police allegedly on charges of running an online sex racket using minor girls.
Crime branch wing of the police arrested Rahul Pasupalan and his wife Rashmi Nair, who had initiated the social media campaign for last year’s “kiss of love” protest against moral policing. They were nabbed from Kochi in the early hours of Wednesday during a statewide raid against online sex rackets.
Pasupalan is a film activist and his wife Nair is a model. The couple has been known for their active intervention in social and political debates in media. A prominent Malayalam TV channel had listed Pasupalan as one of the 10 contestants for the coveted honour of “Newsmaker 2014” of that media group.
Police sources said that a person named Abdul Khadar alias Akbar, a native of Kasaragode, is the kingpin of the racket involving the celebrated couple. Police picked up his mobile phone number from a classified website, locanto , and tracked down others allegedly engaged in procuring and supplying minors to customers.
Akbar used to first entice the customers showing the photographs of Nair. After negotiating the deal, they would lead the customers to minor girls, police said.
Sources said Nair was involved in the racket along with her husband, Pasupalan. Her social media updates have given enough evidence that both have been engaged in trafficking of children.
“Police had approached the couple as customers. As per the deal, four policemen posing as customers went to a hotel near airport on Tuesday night. Nair had taken her six-year-old son to the hotel yesterday night to give an impression of decency. She has also arranged two minor girls, both siblings. They were flown from Bangalore,” sources said.
Sources said if the police had not busted the racket on the previous night, the minor girls would have been repeatedly abused by at least four persons by Wednesday evening.
Police said preliminary inquiry revealed that the couple and Akbar, the kingpin, have close links with child trafficking rackets in Bangalore. The arrested persons, all pimps, told the police that the online trade has been for last one year, but we have only evidences for their operation in the last three months. “The couple has been active for last three months, soliciting customers with photographs of children. However, we have no direct evidence how many children have been abused in the past,” sources said.
Police said two more women were involved in the case registered on Wednesday. They have managed to escape from police during the raid.
In another case, crime branch police arrested six persons on charges of creating a facebook page “kochu sundarikal” (little beauties), where they posted minors’ photographs and made obscene comments.
Police said the prime accused in this case is Ummer, of Vettichira from Malappuram. Employed in Dubai, he has been the admin of the page. The five others were arrested for posting children’s photographs with sexual comments below them.