May 20, 2017

Indian woman cuts off genitals of rapist Hindu holy man

There have been other recent incidents of sexual assault involving religious men in India
May 20, 2017

The woman, 23, says the 54-year-old Hindu religious teacher raped her for years and cut off his genitals in defence.

An Indian woman cut off a Hindu religious teacher's genitals after he allegedly tried to rape her at her house in the southern state of Kerala, police said on Saturday.

The 23-year-old law student was at her residence in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram late Friday when she says she was attacked by the 54-year-old man.

District police chief G Sparjan Kumar told AFP news agency by phone that the suspect repeatedly visited the victim's house to perform rituals for her father's health.

The woman claimed the man had been assaulting her for several years, according to Kumar, who said police had registered a case against Swami for sexual offences against a minor and rape.

"She used a knife in her defence and cut off his penis," Kumar said.

The woman called the police herself following the incident.

She is now under police protection and receiving trauma counselling, the police chief added.

Area Deputy Commissioner of Police Arul B Krishna told The Times of India that the woman's father had been bed-ridden for years.

Her mother became acquainted with the alleged suspect as she appointed him to conduct regular prayers at the house to "remove all the problems faced by the family".

The woman told the police that she had told her mother she was being sexually abused by the "religious guru".

"We may also register a case against her mother for abetting the crime," Krishna told the newspaper.

"The man, Hari Swami, was rushed to the nearby government hospital in a serious state," Kumar added.

The local media reported that Swami was in a stable condition after undergoing emergency medical procedures at the local hospital.

There have been other recent incidents of sexual assault involving religious men in the southern Indian state.

Two nuns and a priest, accused of covering up the birth of a baby born to a teenage girl who was allegedly raped by another priest, were arrested in Kerala last month.

Last year, a priest was sentenced to 40 years in prison by a Kerala court for raping a 12-year-old girl in 2014.

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