Last Thursday was just another day for 45-year-old Sarala*, a native of Ernakulam district in Kerala. A home-maker, Sarala spent the day at her home, later visiting her relative who stays near by, in the evening.
She returned home at around 11pm, a few minutes before her husband returned from the day's work. This has been Sarala's routine for many months now.
However, on July 27, Sarala and her husband, who live in a Njarackal in the district, confronted an unexpected intruder.
30-year-old Rajesh, a tempo traveler driver, resorted to the safety of the darkness to assault Sarala.
The next morning, Sarala walked into the Njarackal police station to file a complaint against her assaulter, who had left behind two pieces of evidence when he fled the night before - his slippers and a part of his tongue.
According to the police, Sarala bit off a part of Rajesh's tongue, when he forcefully kissed her.
Here's what happened
After having dinner, Sarala stepped out of her house to use the bathroom that is built outside the house. While they lived in a properly fenced compound, Rajesh had managed to sneak into the compound, on seeing the lights switched on at the house.
Once Sarala was inside the bathroom, Rajesh pulled off the fuse wire. In the darkness, he proceeded to assault Sarala. Sarala, who was taken aback at the attack, tried to set herself free from the assaulter's grip. However, he forcefully kissed her. According to the police, Sarala then bit off a part of his tongue.
"Rajesh, who did not expect such an act from the woman, screamed in pain and fled. By the time Sarala's husband came rushing out to rescue her, Rajesh had already jumped off the compound wall and escaped. But he had left behind his slippers and 2cm of his tongue lay on the floor. The next morning, the woman and her husband came to the station and showed us the tongue, that had fallen on the ground," Njarackal Sub-Inspector Rageesh told TNM.
Once Sarala filed a complaint, the police enquired at all the hospitals in the district and came to know that a patient with injury on his tongue was admitted at one of the hospitals.
"The hospital authorities informed us that the patient would return the next day for a surgery. When we took his address and made enquiries, we came to know that his behaviour wasn't proper. He lived close to the woman's house and the people around told us that he used to harass many women around," the SI said.
The police then arrested Rajesh the next day, when he got admitted at the same hospital for treatment. The police say that Rajesh confessed to the crime. He was arrested and booked under sections 447 (Criminal trespass), 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage modesty) and section 511 read with section 376 (attempt to rape.)
Rajesh was later remanded to judicial custody. According to the police, although he applied for bail, the court rejected his application on Wednesday.
*Name changed to protect identity