Thiruvananthapuram: A 23-year-old woman in Kerala chopped off a man’s genital organ alleging years of sexual abuse at his hands from the time she was a schoolgirl.
The incident came to light in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram on Friday night, after the grievously injured man was admitted to the Medical College Hospital in the city.
The hospital authorities alerted the police, who immediately began investigations. Hospital authorities said the man’s condition was stable and that he was out of danger.
The man was identified as Sreehari, 54, alias Hari Swami, also known as Gangeshananda Theerthapada Swami. He is attached to a spiritual retreat in nearby Kollam district.
Early reports indicate that the woman has told police that the man had been sexually abusing her since she was a teenager studying in higher secondary school.
She reportedly told police that she had been devastated with years of abuse, and had chopped off her alleged tormentor’s genitals on Friday when he attempted to violate her again.
Police officials at the Pettah police station in Thiruvananthapuram have registered a case against the man, and have also taken into custody the woman’s mother. Police suspect that the mother was an accomplice in the supposed spiritual mentor’s regular visits to their home and the abuse of her daughter.
The supposed spiritual mentor will also face charges under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, since he is alleged to have been abusing the woman from the time she was a minor.
Local media reported that the alleged abuser was introduced to the woman years ago when her family visited his retreat in Kollam. Later, when the woman’s father fell ill and was confined to his home, the former began making visits to their home, allegedly encouraged by the victim’s mother.
At the hospital, plastic surgeons and urologists were reportedly working to reattach the man’s appendange.
The woman’s act of castrating her abuser led to numerous comments on social media, many of them drawing a parallel to a sequence in the Malayalam movie, ‘22 female Kottayam’ in which the heroine castrates her tormentor, and also to Lorena Bobbitt who chopped off her abusive husband’s penis in 1993.
Commentators on social media largely supported the act of the woman, with many saying ‘A big salute to you, sister’, some suggesting a bravery award for her, and yet another commenting that her act will serve as a warning to potential abusers.