Student allegedly tried to cut off man's penis after he tried to rape her

A 23-year-old law student from Thiruvananthapuram, India, has been hailed as "courageous" for attacking her long-time sexual abuser and trying to cut his penis off, writes Pam Ryan.

The alleged incident took place on Friday night at approximately 11:30pm when the 54-year-old male preacher was at the woman's family home in Thiruvananthapuram.

It is alleged that he was preparing to abuse her when an altercation involving a knife took place. She then ran from the house, taking her mobile phone with her to ring the police. When the authorities arrived they escorted the bleeding man to the medical college hospital.

The man was admitted to the hospital with his penis almost severed. He told the police he had inflicted the injury upon himself "as [the organ] was of no use for him".

A medical college official said: "He was admitted with 90% of the penis severed. The penis could not be sutured. Doctors of urology and plastic surgery departments subjected him to emergency surgery to control bleeding and enable him to pass urine. His condition is stable now."

The man has been officially identified as Gangesanantha Teerthapadar. He has been a preacher at several temples in Kerala.

Gangesanantha Teerthapadar.

Police charged the swami with rape and under various sections of The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, as the sexual abuse is reported to have begun when the victim was still a minor. The woman is not being charged in connection with the knife attack.

On Saturday evening the police recorded the swami's arrest. He will appear before the court once he is discharged from hospital.

Chief Minister Vijayan said: "[The woman's action] was a courageous step. No doubt about it. Since she has taken the action, what is left for us is to give support for her."

Deputy Commissioner of Police Dr Arul R B Krishna said there was no particular provocation for the woman to act on Friday night. "She had taken the decision to chop off the genitals of the swami much earlier. We are also looking into whether the abuse has been going on with the consent of parents, particularly the mother. A detailed statement of the woman will be recorded, and we will also look into whether any financial transaction had taken place between the family and the swami," he added.

The woman’s parents thought of him as a godman, and he had a say in the family’s decisions. He was given a room in the house for conducting pujas, acts of showing religious reverence.

The Panmana Asramam has distanced itself from the swami. Its secretary, A R Gireesh Kumar, said the ashram wanted the accused to be punished. "Fifteen years ago, he had joined the ashram for studies, but he did not complete them. He may have come to the asramam, but we have no links with him. He was not given the title of theerthapadar."

A social activist who visited the woman said: "She seems to be a brave woman. She told us that she had cut the genitals of the swami in self-defence. She realised that there was no other way to escape the rapist. She said she did not want to be another rape victim who spent her life suffering. She wanted the rapist to suffer throughout his life."

H/T to Indian Express


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