Thiruvananthapuram, May 20: Unable to withstand sexual abuses by a self-styled ‘Swami’ for the past five years, a Kerala law student bobbitised him to stop his advances on Friday. The godman, thus, landed in a hospital with serious injuries to his genitals.
According to a statement issued here on Saturday by Thiruvananthapuram Medical College hospital authorities, it was around 12.39 a.m. that Hari Swami of a Hindu ashram near Kollam was brought to the hospital with his genitals severed almost 90 per cent.
A team of medical professionals conducted a plastic surgery and he is now reported to be out of danger.
According to reports, Hari Swami (54) alias Gangananda Theerthapatha, a resident of an ashram in Kollam, told the police that he did it on his own as a penance. Police suspect that he owns up the crime to evade law.
The 22-year-old law student insisted that she did it as the last option to check his advances as he had been sexually exploiting her since she was 16 on the pretext of rituals.
According to the girl, the Swami was a frequent visitor to their home here and used to conduct religious ceremonies and right from the time she was a Class 12 student she was under his duress.
This incident occurred on Friday night when the girl using a knife slashed the Swami's genitals.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan lauded the woman, saying it was a courageous step. “No doubt about it.”
Prameela Devi, member of the Kerala State Women’s Commission, said she was proud of the woman for doing this.
“Such an act by anyone, especially when it comes under the guise of a religious tag, irrespective of the religion, is in no way acceptable”, she said.
The woman in her complaint stated that Hari was known to her family for the past few years and frequented her home in Thiruvanathapuram Pettah for performing poojas, and used to assault her during the visits ever since she was a class 12 student.
On Friday night, when Hari made advances, the woman, who had hidden a knife under her pillow, cut off his genitals.
The woman’s family rushed him to Thiruvananthapuram medical college and hospital early on Saturday, following which the woman approached the police and narrated the whole incident.
Hari is out of danger after doctors conducted two surgeries on him. They are still trying to stitch back his severed penis, hospital authorities said.
Since the woman said she was assaulted for the last five years, the police booked Hari under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act) sections also.
Police said the woman will also be charged under relevant sections of self-defence.
The woman’s mother, who was close to the godman, knew about his sexual advances to her daughter, police said, adding that they would charge her also.
Panmana ashram in Kollam, where Hari used to reside, has disowned him.
(With agency inputs)