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Friday 14 August, 2020

No charges for Indian woman who castrated 'rapist' Swami

A 23-year-old Kerala woman who had sliced the genitals of an Indian swami who allegedly tried to rape her has been released after charges against her were dropped.

According to the Hindustan Times, Kerala police dropped the charges and Indian citizens have expressed support for the woman, who is a final-year law student.

Police initially planned to charge the woman, however, outspoken objections from various Indian women's groups quashed this idea. 

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan also praised the woman's “a courageous step”, adding that the government would do everything to support her.

The woman said Ganeshananda Theerthapada, alias Srihari, sexually exploited her since class 10 and that she resorted to the action in self-defense.

She said Theerthapada forced oral sex on her at knifepoint at her house in Thiruvananthapuram Pettah around 11:30 pm last Friday. She snatched the knife, severed his penis, and ran out of the house. 

She then called the police, saying that she was afraid that she would be killed. 

Thiruvananthapuram was rushed to hospital where surgery was performed to create a temporary urinary tract. His penis was allegedly almost completely severed. 

Srihari was a former small businessman who switched over to his role as Swami after his business flopped. The Panmana ashram in Kollam (South Kerala), has since disowned him, saying he left the sect 10 years ago.

The victim said Srihari contacted the family after her father became ill and bedridden. She said he exploited the family's insecurity and emotional trauma and eventually started making sexual advances toward her.

She said she was initially afraid of telling anyone but gained courage after learning law. 


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