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The Bizarre Twists And Turns In The Kerala Godman's Genital Mutilation Case

Who bobbitised Swami Gangashananda?

19/06/2017 11:17 AM IST | Updated 19/06/2017 11:19 AM IST
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REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE of a sadhu sitting on a wooden bank in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

Police officials in Kerala have approached a Thiruvananthapuram court seeking permission to conduct a lie detector test on a young woman who allegedly snipped off the genitals of a godman, accusing him of repeatedly raping her at her home in Pettah.

However, over the course of weeks after the 20 May incident, the student allegedly changed her version of the incident and what led to it. Initially the news of her taking the law into her own hands to fight her 'molester' brought on a barrage of congratulatory responses, including one from Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who called it a brave step.

Vijayan was asked by reporters what steps the government would take against the accused, to which he laughingly said "What more action you need?"

In her initial report to the police, soon after the incident, the woman said this: "My father is paralyzed and bedridden. My mother invited Swami for conducting pooja and offering prayers three years ago. He is a frequent visitor to our home. Seven years ago, he started raping me. I was scared to resist him. When he tried to rape me on Friday night, I chopped off his sexual organ."

But since then there have been several twists and turns in the case.

The Audio Clip

An audio clip surfaced — purportedly between the 23-year-old law student and godman Swami Gangashananda lawyer — in which a woman is heard acknowledging that she cut off the genitals of the accused, but that it was an accident. The Mathrubhumi reported that in the 30-minute-long clip, the woman also said the sadhu had "never tried to sexually abuse her", backtracking from her earlier accusation of rape. She said she "waved" a knife but had no idea that the injury would be so critical.

A Letter To The Swami's Lawyer

NDTV reported that in a letter to 53-year-old Swami Gangashananda's lawyer, the woman repeated that she was never raped by the godman, a member of the Panmana Ashram in Kerala's Kollam. She accused the police instead, of adding the sexual harassment charge in their report.

The woman confirmed to NDTV that she indeed had sent the letter and this is what she wrote: "There has been no form of sexual harassment by the swamiji towards me. Neither when I was a minor or when I turned 18. The accusation of swamiji sexually harassing me at 16 and 17 years is false and an addition made among the other additions by police people."

She accused the police of rewriting her initial statement.

Lie Detector And Brain Mapping

PTI reported that the police moved court for conducting a polygraph and brain mapping test on the woman.

"Since the woman is changing her statements and it will affect the investigation, we have to have a scientific investigation so that truth will come out," City Police Commissioner, G Sparjan Kumar, told PTI.

The police have accused her of changing her statement "on a daily basis". Both the petitions will come up before the court today.

'The Boyfriend Did It'

The woman's mother, in a complaint to the state DGP on 29 May, said her daughter was not mentally stable and that it was her boyfriend who has bobbitised the sadhu who she said was against the relationship between the young lovers. "She harboured ill-feelings against him," the mother wrote.

It was reported that the mother was aware of the sexual abuse.

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