In an anti-climax for the ‘kiss of love’ movement, which had fought a noisy campaign against moral policing, the police on Wednesday arrested its leader Rahul Pasupalan and his wife Rashmi Nair in connection with an alleged online sex racket in Kochi.
The police stumbled upon the racket while investigating a complaint over a paedophile page on Facebook called ‘Kochu Sundarikal’ and a pop-up advertisement on the internet which promised women escorts. Crime branch IG S Sreejith said 12 persons had been arrested in the two-day long raid called ‘Operation Big Daddy’, with three minors rescued.
“We have been following some leads for last two months in two separate complaints and arrested 12 persons. We rescued three minors also,” the IG said, adding it was cumbersome to crack online sex rackets.s
Investigating officers tapped into the online trafficking network by posing as clients. They subsequently received photographs of “escorts” as encrypted messages (mostly on WhatsApp), giving details like the age of the women, duration and nature of service required and price. The police said Rashmi allegedly received women escorts at Kochi airport when they were summoned from Bengaluru and Mumbai.
The arrest of Rahul and Rashmi has caused a big ripple in the social media. Many said he has been “trapped” for taking a bold stand against moral policing, but others differed, claiming his movement was just a cover-up for “sleazy things”.
Rahul and Rashmi shot to fame in November 2014 when they become symbols of the ‘kiss of love’. In Kochi, supporters of the movement had clashed with Shiv Sena workers and other fringe groups when they tried to conduct an open kissing programme at Marine Drive.