(Eds: Adding details about man’s arrest) Thiruvananthapuram, May 20 (PTI) Refusing to suffer any more, a 23-year-old law student chopped off the genitals of a man who had allegedly been raping her for the last six years and tried to do the same again last night, police said.

The 54-year-old accused Gangeshananda Theerthapada alias Hariswami, who claims to be a sanyasi, has been arrested, the police said this evening.

Hariswami, known to the girl’s family, had been frequenting her house in Pettah for several years to perform ‘puja’ aimed at bringing relief to her paralysed and bed- ridden father, police said quoting the victim.

During those visits over the last six years, the accused would allegedly rape the girl, whenever he found a chance, according to the police.

He allegedly tried to rape her again last night but the girl protested and chopped off his genitals with a knife, the police added quoting the girl’s complaint.

The incident came to light after the man, who claims to be an inmate of Panmana Ashram in Kollam, was admitted to the government medical college hospital here with critical injuries in the wee hours, the police said.

He underwent an emergency surgery and his condition is stable now, they said.

A case has been registered against him under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and IPC 376 (punishment for rape).

No case has been registered against the girl, the police added.

The complainant will be recording her statement before a magistrate, police said.

The man reportedly told police that he had chopped off his genitals himself.

The management of Panmana Ashram, associated with social reformer Chattambi Swamy, said Hariswami had come to the ashram as a ‘brahmachari’ 15 years ago but did not complete his course and had left midway.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan hailed the woman’s act as “brave” and “courageous”.

“It was a courageous step, no doubt about it,” he told reporters here and promised all support to the girl from the government.

State Women’s Commission member Prameela Devi expressed shock over the incident and said the girl was forced to take the extreme step after suffering years of harassment, pain and humiliation.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.