News Bobbitised godman arrested, CM hails attacker (Night Lead)

Bobbitised godman arrested, CM hails attacker (Night Lead)

Thiruvananthapuram, May 20 (IANS) A 54-year-old godman bobbitised by a young woman he had been allegedly raping for years remained in a hospital here on Saturday even as police formally arrested him.

Simultaneously, the 23-year-old women was charged with voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means. This is a bailable offence, a police officer said.

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The woman, whose name is being withheld, cut off the genitals of the godman, Hari Swami, a day earlier after accusing him of sexually harassing her for years.

Hari Swami remained warded at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital after undergoing plastic surgery after the woman severed almost 90 per cent of his genitals.

Doctors said he was now out of danger.

“The Swami’s arrest has been recorded. He will be produced before the magistrate once he is discharged from the hospital,” a police officer told IANS.

According to the woman, the Swami was a frequent visitor to their home here and used to conduct rituals right from the time when she was a Class 12 student.

Her father was apparently keeping unwell for a long time. On Friday, the woman grabbed a knife and attacked the Swami.

The woman reportedly told police that she could not take the sexual attacks any more.

On Saturday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan came out in support of the woman.

Asked if “strong action” would be taken against the accused, he shot back: “Strong action has already taken place. All we need is to extend our support to her.”

A Hindu ashram near Kollam to which the Swami was linked said it had nothing to do with the godman.

Authorities at the Panmana Ashram, located about 80 km from here, said the Swami was removed from the rolls long back.

Girish Kumar from the ashram said the Swami left them more than a decade back and the ashram should not be blamed for his deeds.

“For long there was no news of him. Of late he had come here a few times. This is an ashram where many people come and go,” said Kumar.

The Swami was initially in a denial mode about the incident and reportedly told the doctors that he himself slashed his genitals “as I do not need them”.

But he later said that a woman had attacked him.

Prameela Devi, a member of the Kerala State Women’s Commission, said she felt proud of the woman.

“Such acts by anyone, especially when it comes under the guise of a religious tag, irrespective of the religion, is not acceptable,” she said.

BJP leader K. Rajashekharan also demanded action against the godman. “Anyone who does a crime needs to face consequences,” he said.

–IANS
sg/mr/ahm

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