In a shocking incident, a 30-year-old American woman in Tiruvannamalai managed to overpower the rape attempt on her on Sunday by a 34-year-old man and handed him over to Tamil Nadu police officials with the help of her neighbours. Reports state the woman was familiar with martial arts as she had earlier undergone training, and had visited the temple town from the US earlier this year in March. 

During her stay in Thiruvannamalai, the woman had visited the Arunachaleshwara temple and Ramana Maharshi ashram and had been planning to return to her homeland. However, her plans suffered a setback after the nationwide lockdown was imposed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic crisis, and eventually got her visa extended. 

The US national had managed to rent a house in Arunachaleswara Nagar on the girivalam path, while the culprit who had also been living in the locality, had been observing over the past month. The woman had been outside her home on Sunday morning when the man clad in saffron attire and a rudraksha chain as a sage had approached her and attempted to push her inside her house to sexually assault her. However, the woman successfully managed to overpower him and reportedly slashed him using a knife during self-defense, which led to the man sustaining injuries. Upon hearing her cries for help, her neighbours rushed to her house and beat up the man and tied him to a tree, while waiting for the police to arrive. 

The local police soon took the man into custody for investigation when he revealed that his name is Manikandan and was hailing from Namakkal district. According to reports, he told the police that he had been visiting pilgrimage centres around the country like Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh for nearly 17 years. He stated that he had been living in Thiruvannamalai for nearly six months. As of now, investigation is still ongoing and the woman has been admitted to Tiruvannamalai government hospital after she sustained minor injuries on her head during the untoward incident.