THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A 23-year-old woman cut off the genitals of a so-called “swami”, or godman, who was allegedly sexually abusing her since she was in her teens and who allegedly tried to rape her on Friday night in Pettah.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan called her “courageous”.
It was a courageous step, no doubt about it:Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan on girl who chopped off genitals of inmate from Panmana Ashram pic.twitter.com/67xqy3PDNB
According to the police, the incident occurred on Friday night when Gangeshananda Teethapadam, alias Hariswami, allegedly tried to rape the woman at her residence. Sources told TOI the woman alerted the police immediately after she chopped off the man’s genitals with a knife. She called the emergency 100 number because she was afraid the alleged rapist would kill her.
Police said that the man, 54, had been allegedly sexually abusing the woman since she was in Class 12.
The accused claimed to be a saint associated with the Chattambi Swami Ashram in Kollam, but the ashram authorities denied any association with him.
“He was a brahmachari at the ashram 15 years ago. Later, he quit. But it is learned that he was using the ashram for his fame,” said an official at the ashram.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Arul B Krishna said the woman’s father has been bed-ridden for years. Her mother became acquainted with Hari as she appointed him to conduct regular ‘poojas’ at the house for “removing all the problems faced by the family.”
Police have charged the alleged rapist with relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act because the woman said that she had been facing abuse since she was in Class 12. The woman said to the police that she had told her mother she was being sexually abused by the ‘swami’.
“We may also register a case against her mother for abetting the crime,” the DCP said.
Pettah police said they have not filed a case against the woman who’s been allegedly abused “as they feel it is their responsibility to morally support her.”
A statement from the medical college where Hari was admitted said that emergency surgery was performed on Hari, who was admitted at 12.39 am.
“It was difficult to stitch the cut off portion. The surgery was done to stop bleeding and to restore the urinary tract,” it said.