Indian woman cuts off alleged rapist's genitals in 'courageous act'

Hindu holy man Gangeshananda Theerthapada has been sexually assaulting the victim for the past seven years, police say.

Hindu holy man Gangeshananda Theerthapada has been sexually assaulting the victim for the past seven years, police say.

A 24-year-old woman in southern India has cut off the genitals of a Hindu holy man who tried to rape her and who she alleged has been sexually assaulting her for the past eight years, police say.

G. Sparjan Kumar, a police officer in Thiruvananthapuram, the Kerala state capital, said the woman fled her home after the incident on Friday night [Saturday NZ Time] and called police.

The alleged attacker, 54-year-old Gangeshananda Theerthapada, who claims to be a spiritual healer, was reported to be in stable condition after reconstructive surgery.

Pinarayi Vijayan, the state's chief minister, said it was brave of the woman to take such action.

"It's a courageous and strong act by the woman," he said.

The New Delhi Television news channel said the woman's family knew Theerthapada, who used to visit their home to cure her bed-ridden father. She told police that he would rape her whenever he got an opportunity.

When he again visited her home on Friday night and tried to force himself on her, she got hold of a knife and attacked him, Kumar said.

Violent crimes against women have been on the rise in India despite tough laws enacted by the government.

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 - AP

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