In a twist to the sensational genital chopping case in Kerala, the woman victim today purportedly retracted her claim that she had cut the private part of a self-styled godman to foil a rape bid by him and said he was innocent. According to a letter reportedly written by the victim to the lawyer of the accused Gangeshananda Theerthapada alias Hariswami, the 23-year-old law student accused the police of having coerced her to level the allegation against the man. The woman told a Malayalam TV channel that she had written the letter to the lawyer and that she stood by its content. Police, however, pleaded ignorance about the letter. "We have no idea about the new development.
The defence lawyer has now said that she (victim) has given a letter denying her charge against the swami. We do not know why she has retracted from her earlier position," a police official said. Lawyer Sashthamangalam Ajit told TV channels that he had produced the letter, received by him through post, in a special court here yesterday along with the bail petition of Hariswami. He said judge Minimol T K has sought the response of the public prosecutor and posted the case to June 19. The 54-year-old godman was admitted to the government medical college here with critical injuries in the wee hours of May 20. The woman had earlier stated that she had chopped off the genitals of the man during a rape attempt at her home at nearby Pettah, where he was a frequent visitor. She had also alleged that the godman had been raping her since the past six years, when she was a minor. A case had been registered against the accused under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and IPC 376 (punishment for rape).