Kollam Police Commissioner Merin Joseph IPS and her team crossed international borders to arrest an alleged child rapist. The man named Sunil Kumar Bhadran, who was accused of raping a minor in India had fled to Saudi Arabia, where he worked, according to a report in The News Minute. When Merin landed in Riyadh, she was unsure of what procedures are to be followed in order to catch the culprit. The case had been transferred to the Interpol in 2017, but it had been dormant for some two years.
Meanwhile, Bhadran also became the first person to be extradited for a crime committed in Kerala. This, possibly, will pave way for extradition of many more criminals who have sought asylum in Saudi.
Sunil Kumar worked as a tile worker in Saudi. He is a native of Kollam in Kerala. In 2017, he had come to India during his vacations. During his visit, he allegedly raped his friend's niece for 3 months. The 13-year-old girl finally broke her silence and confided in her family. The survivor, who belongs to a scheduled caste community and her family then reached out to the local police. However, by the time the police issued a lookout notice, Sunil had already fled to Saudi.
The survivor ended her life
After Sunil fled the country, the girl was transferred to the Government Mahila Mandiram rescue home at Karicode in Kollam district. Devastated by the incident, the girl ended her life in June 2017. Prior to this, the girl's uncle who had introduced Sunil Kumar to his family had also killed himself. Merin Joseph took charge as the Commissioner of Police in June 2019 and reviewed the pending cases. While reviewing the cases, she paid special attention to the cases related to women and children.
“I found this case and got to know that this man was absconding for almost two years. This was a case that had impacted public conscience and people were outraged at the crime. The International Investigation Agency of the Kerala police had been following up with Saudi police, we just strengthened these efforts,” she told The News Minute.
This was the first time that we would be doing such an extradition. I wanted to learn how it works so that I could, in turn, share the knowledge with my team. There was a lot of paperwork, it involved the CBI and the Interpol too. - Kollam Police Commissioner Merin Joseph
The case went cold for two years
When Sunil had fled to Saudi, an Interpol notice was issued against him. However, the case saw two years of abeyance. The case didn't proceed further since the cases with Interpol require constant follow up and co-operation from both the countries involved. But when Merin learned from Saudi police that they had nabbed Sunil, she decided to go and bring him back herself.
“This was the first time that we would be doing such an extradition. I wanted to learn how it works so that I could, in turn, share the knowledge with my team. There was a lot of paperwork, it involved the CBI and the Interpol too. We also had to make documents to bring him back. This is why I decided to go. I am also passionate about cases involving women and children, and this was a man I believed should be brought back to face trial," she said.
By the efforts of Merin, Sunil Kumar has been successfully extradited to India. Meanwhile, he also became the first person to be extradited for a crime committed in Kerala. This, possibly, will pave the way to extradite many more criminals, who have sought asylum in Saudi.
Image Credit: The News Minute