Three months after a 23-year-old woman allegedly cut off the genitals of self-styled godman Swami Gangeshananda alias Sree Hari allegedly during a rape attempt, a Kerala court granted bail to the Swami on Monday.
The Thiruvananthapuram Sessions Court granted bail to 54-year-old Gangeshananda, accused of raping the girl after the police failed to file the chargesheet within 90 days.
Letting him out on bail, the sessions court said that the Swami shouldn't enter the jurisdiction of the court, except for seeking treatment. The court has also warned the Swami against trying to influence the woman or her family.
The case came to light on the morning of May 20, when the woman, whose parents are reportedly followers of the Swami, cut off the 54-year-old's penis after he allegedly tried to rape her.
After the woman alleged that the Swami had been abusing her since her high school, the police booked the Swami under POCSO and also charged rape case (Section 376) on him.
However, after the case evoked much shock in the state, the woman did a U-turn, by claiming that the Swami had not tried to rape her at all. In a letter to the Swami's lawyer, the woman wrote that the Swami was a "good man" and that he had neither sexually abused her, nor did she cut off his penis.
She then said that one Ayyappadas, who was known to her and the Swami, had asked her to cut off the Swami's penis.
“Ayyapadas made me feel that I should also take revenge on Swamiji for continuously looting my family,” Aparna writes.
“He (Ayyappadas) had asked me to go near Swamiji and cut off his penis with a knife he gave me a few days back which would take the incident to another form. I went near Swamiji but fortunately or unfortunately I could not act as per the instructions were given to me which was his plan along with the two others.”
Aparna implies here that the act of chopping off Sreehari’s penis was insinuated by Ayyappadas and his aides, to give the incident the undertone of sexual abuse. After this, Aparna’s letter gets ambiguous. “Suddenly then, Swamiji made a cry on hearing which I ran out of the home as instructed by Ayyappadas”.
The Swami was previously denied bail by the POCSO court in June.
Following this, the Swami had knocked on the doors of the HC seeking bail. However, the HC too, denied his bail application citing that he could influence the witness in the case