A 30-year-old American woman overpowered a 34-year-old man who attempted to rape her and managed to hand him over to the Tamil Nadu police with the help of neighbours on Sunday. The incident took place in the temple town of Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu.
According to reports, the US national, who had undergone martial arts training, had come to visit Thiruvannamalai from the US in March 2020 and was planning to return to her homeland after visiting the Arunachaleshwara temple and Ramana Maharshi ashram in Thiruvannamalai. However, she got stranded in Tamil Nadu due to the coronavirus lockdown, and got her visa extended.
The woman had rented a house in Arunachaleswara Nagar on the girivalam path (a circular path around the Annamalai Hill). The man, who has also been living in the vicinity, had been reportedly observing her for the past month.
On Sunday morning, the woman was outside her house when the man, dressed as a sage in saffron attire and a rudraksha chain, approached her. As he tried to push her inside the house to sexually assault her, she overpowered him and reportedly slashed him with a knife, causing injuries. Hearing her cries for help, her neighbours arrived at the scene, thrashed the man and tied him to a tree, while simultaneously alerting the police.
He was picked up by the local police and during interrogation, he revealed that his name is Manikandan and he is from Namakkal district. He allegedly told the police that he has been visiting pilgrimage centres across the country like Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar for the past 17 years and has been living in Thiruvannamalai for the last six months.
The man has been arrested and further investigation is going on in the case. The woman has been admitted to the Thiruvannamalai government hospital after she suffered minor injuries to her head during the scuffle.