An Indian woman has been praised for her bravery after cutting off a man's penis when he allegedly tried to rape her.

Officers say religious guru Hari Swami had abused the 23-year-old for years before she sliced off his genitals with a knife she had hidden under her pillow.

He had been exploiting her for five years, the woman told officers.

But the holy man later claimed he had cut it off himself, the Hindustan Times reports.


Pinarayi Vijayan, chief minister of the southern state of Kerala, where it happened, said, NDTV reports: "It's a courageous and strong act by the woman."

The law student was at her residence in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram late Friday when she says she was attacked by the 54-year-old man, who had claimed to her family to be a religious guru.

"She used a knife in her defense and cut off his penis," district police chief G Sparjan Kumar told AFP by phone.

"The man, Hari Swami, was rushed to the nearby government hospital in a serious state," he added.

Local media reports that Swami was in a stable condition after undergoing emergency medical procedures.

The woman claimed he had been assaulting her for several years, according to Kumar, who said police had registered a case against Swami for sexual offences against a minor and rape.

Police said the girl's parents, who live at the same house, were unaware of the assaults by Swami, the Daily Mail reported.

"The woman told us that her parents blindly trusted this Swami, and he used to get frequent invites to perform special ceremonies and stay over at their house, where he assaulted her," Kumar told AFP.


She is now under police protection and receiving trauma counselling.