Six years ago, the rescue of a 16-year-old girl from a brothel had unravelled an organised sex racket spanning multiple states. On Monday, a Kerala court has convicted two people in the Varazppuzha sex racket case.
The Additional Sessions Court in Ernakulam found Shobha John and ex-serviceman Jayarajan Nair guilty in the Varappuzha sex racket case. The court will pronounce the quantum of punishment later in the day.
The court also acquitted five others in the case for lack of evidence.
The sex racket came to light in 2011. Shobha John, who is the kingpin of the racket is the prime accused in the case. Jayarajan Nair is the eighth accused in the case.
In total, there are 32 cases registered with regard to the sexual assault and rape of a minor girl and the running of a sex racket. Shobha is an accused in almost all the cases related to the rape of the minor girl.
The police had filed the chargesheet in 2012. One of the eight accused had died during the trial.
Those accused include the minor girl's sister Pushpavathy and her husband Anil. They were acquitted after the court found that there was no conclusive evidence to prove their involvement.
When the Varappuzha police busted the sex racket in July 3, 2011, the minor girl, who was rescued by the police said that her family had sold her to Shobha for a sum of Rs 1 lakh. Shobha had been running the brothel out of a rented house in Varappuzha in Ernakulam district.
The minor girl was allegedly sexually assaulted and raped by over 200 people at several locations within and outside the state. This included places in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
In the course of the investigation, the Ernakulam Crime Branch had also found that an ASI had allegedly sexually abused the girl, along with four others. This information came to light only in 2013, when one of the accused revealed the involvement of the policeman.
The trial in the case began in October 2016, five years after the case was registered. The other accused in the cases are Anil Kumar of Thiruvananthapuram; Pushpavathy of Kasargod; Vinod Kumar of Cherupuzha in Kannur; Shine Thomas of Bengaluru; Arun alias Denis of Menangady in Wayanad; Sunil Joy of Kalamassery; Muhammad Basheer of Kasargod; Tahira of Mancherry; Scaria of Pathanamthitta; Shijil of Pathanmthitta; Madurai-native Ashok and Goutham of Madurai.