'Wife swapping' where consenting adults decide to swap partners is a pratice that isn't out in the open much but nevertheless prevails. However, a cursory glance at advertisements on numerous websites for wife swapping or couple swapping, throws up one element in many instances - that the wife or girlfriend is not ready for a swap, but the man wants to go on nevertheless. Many such ads say, "Interested in wife swapping, need help to convince wife." This is exactly what seems to have happened in Kerala where a young woman, who had not consented to 'swapping', was allegedly repeatedly raped.
The news of the arrest of four married men from different districts of Kerala by the Kayamkulam police has shocked the people in the state. However, preliminary investigation has shown that the woman's torture went on for many months.
The husband, a 32-year-old travel agency employee based out of Kayamkulam in Alappuzha district, started using ShareChat - a chatting app - in March 2019. Here, he allegedly befriended a man from Kozhikode who was interested in wife swapping. According to the woman's complaint, she was forced by her husband to engage in sexual acts with the man in a car in March.
“From March 2019, the prime accused has been meeting other men on ShareChat. He took his wife to their houses and in two cases the complainant had to engage in sexual contact with a man and a couple respectively. We have arrested her husband and three other men based on her complaint,” an officer from the Kayamkulam station who probed the case told TNM.
In April 2019, she was allegedly taken to a couple's house in Keralapuram in Kollam. The woman told the police that she refused to engage in any kind of sexual act and her husband was forced to take her back.
The next time, however, she could not escape and her husband is said to have taken her to Karunagapally in Kollam district. Here, they allegedly met another young couple who, along with the husband, forced the young woman to agree to the swapping. According to the wife's complaint, they visited this couple thrice and other than swapping, she was also forced into group sex.
In a few days, the husband soon found another interested couple in Tiruvalla in Pathanamthitta district. On April 11, when they visited the couple, the wife refused to co-operate. Her husband and the other woman indulged in sexual acts, but her refusal to comply reportedly made the husband angry. After returning home, the couple fought over the incident. The wife later went to her maternal house. Last week, she managed to file a police complaint, narrating her sordid account.
The four men have been sent to judicial custody and the police have also added the wives to the list of accused persons. However, the women have not been arrested. The accused men and their wives are between the ages of 23-38 and hail from middle class backgrounds, the police added.
“We have registered cases under sections 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage, etc.) 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 376 (punishment for rape/gang rape) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC,” the officer told TNM.
The complaint was filed on April 25 and the four men were arrested on Saturday, April 27.
“The man from Kozhikode, with whom she was forced to do sexual acts in a car, has also been named in the complainant’s statement. It all started with him, but we have not been able to arrest him yet,” the officer said.