Days after a 27-year-old Kerala woman narrated her ordeal that included horrific torture and sexual assault at the hands of her partner, who forcefully confined her in a Kochi flat for days, another woman has filed a complaint against the same man alleging physical assault. Martin Joseph, the 33-year-old Thrissur native, is yet to be nabbed by the police, though the first woman gave a complaint on April 8. It was recently that the Kannur native woman opened up about the way she was confined and tortured from February 15 to March 8. From sexual assault to cruel physical torture, the woman spoke of many brutalities and made public the photographs of injuries inflicted on her. With large bruises and blood clots, the woman's neck, back, thigh and legs were blackened.
Though the Kochi police have been unable to catch Martin, they recorded the arrest of three men, Martin's friends who helped him abscond. Talking to the media, Kochi Police Commissioner, Nagaraju CH said that more details are being sought on the complaint filed by the second woman against the accused. “The new complaint we received alleges physical assault. More details are being sought,” said Nagaraju. Kochi Deputy Commissioner of Police, Aishwarya Dongre said that details of the complaint cannot be revealed but it is "in the lines of Section 354" (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code.
It was on April 8 that the Kannur native woman filed a complaint with the Kochi police against the man, after managing to escape from the apartment. The woman and Martin had been living together since last year in a flat in Kochi. After the woman left him and went back to her home for a brief period, he threatened her saying he will publicise her private photos. Once the woman came back due to the threat, he forcefully confined her in the flat and subjected her to torture. Making her drink toilet water and urine, pouring chilly water in her eyes, preventing her from sleeping and pouring hot water on her bruises, were some of the atrocities she alleged. On March 8, the woman managed to escape from the place, by running away from the apartment, carrying a knife. Though she managed to get to one of the police stations in Kochi, she gathered the courage to file a complaint only a month later on April 8.
Police have stated that they have zeroed in on Martin's hiding place. Meanwhile, three of his friends, all Thrissur natives, who helped him hide will be charged with abetment “They are booked under charges of harbouring an offender. All of them are his friends and they helped him to go out of Kochi and arranged the hiding place. We suspect they have a criminal background, but we are yet to confirm this,” said the Commissioner. Though absconding, Martin has moved the Kerala High Court seeking anticipatory bail. The HC has reportedly sought the report of police on the case. The Commissioner told the media that the police will oppose the bail plea in court. The plea will be considered by the court on June 11.
Martin is booked under Indian Penal Code sections 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 324 (Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 344 (Wrongful confinement for ten or more days), 376(Punishment for rape), 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation).
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