Kiss of Love's Rahul Pasupalan out on bail in sex racket case, says he is being framed

Rahul said the only reason he and his wife Reshmi could be targeted was because of their involvement in the Kiss of Love movement.
Kiss of Love's Rahul Pasupalan out on bail in sex racket case, says he is being framed
Kiss of Love's Rahul Pasupalan out on bail in sex racket case, says he is being framed
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Rahul Pasupalan, the “Kiss of Love” activist arrested in Kerala along with his wife Reshmi R Nair, in connection with an online sex racket, was released on Saturday after obtaining bail from the Karnataka High Court.

His wife Reshmi had been released on bail four months ago after a 10-month period of imprisonment.

Since his release, Rahul has claimed, in media interviews and on social media, that he and his wife are innocent of all charges, and are being framed by the police.

Rahul and Reshmi had been arrested on November 18, 2015 by the Crime Branch of Kerala police on charges of running a sex racket that involved supplying women and minor girls to clients who transacted with them through online messages.

In his interviews and Facebook post, Rahul raised a number of objections to the police narrative against him. Firstly, he alleged, he and his wife were not arrested from a hotel in Nedumbassery, as the police claimed, but were picked up from their apartment in Kochi.

He also alleged that an audio clip that has been circulating since his arrest, in which he purportedly fixes rates for Reshmi with a client, was fake. People were using the fact that Reshmi was a bikini model, Rahul alleged, to frame her as a sex worker. “Expressing our bodily freedom is not the same as prostitution. Reshmi is a bikini model, but that doesn’t mean that she is a sex worker,” Rahul told Reporter TV.

He also denied that he was either directly or indirectly involved in child trafficking cases against him.

To support his claim, Rahul quoted from the Karnataka High Court order granting bail to Reshmi, “The present petitioner however was not involved in trafficking of CW2 and 3 from place to place. It is evident that she was some way involved in some other program known as ‘kiss of love’, in respect of which there were investigation and she has been arraigned as accused no. 4.”

Rahul claimed that he and his family were being targeted by persons with vested interests. He also blamed the UDF in Kerala for targeting him, in his interview to Reporter TV.

Rahul said that the Kerala police was framing fake stories about them, but did not reveal the names of specific persons targeting him, and said he did not know the reason they were doing so. “I have no idea why they framed me and Reshmi in this case. The only reason I see is our involvement in the Kiss of Love campaign. We are confident that we can disprove the allegations levelled against us before the court of law,” he said in an interview given to Deccan Chronicle.

Rahul and Reshmi’s arrest had raised a furore in Kerala, as the couple had been at the forefront of the “Kiss of Love” movement against moral policing that had set off a major debate in the state. While many young people supported the movement, and it was adopted in other cities across the country, the movement came under severe condemnation from conservatives of all shades as a great threat to the moral fabric of Indian society.

On the question of Rahul’s father making allegations against him in the media after his arrest, Rahul said that his father had done so because of his ignorance.

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