India rape
Campaigners have taken to the streets to protest about the number of sex attacks in India (file picture)Getty

A man had his genitals chopped off and thrown into the street by an angry mob in India for allegedly sexually assaulting a young woman.

It happened in Ganganagar in the north-western state of Rajasthan, in graphic scenes captured on video.

According to local authorities, the extreme action was a response to high-profile incidences of sexual attacks in India.

World-wide condemnation greeted the gang-rape of a student on a bus two years ago, which shook the image of the country.

Alleged attacker Suresh Kumar, 40, molested a teenager in a street, but her screams for help alerted a crowd which came to her aid.

Kumar was dragged into a nearby butcher's shop and beaten heavily with sticks for nearly an hour, according to reports. Vigilantes then hacked at his genitals with a meat cleaver, before throwing them into the street.

The incident left Kumar in a critical condition.

A reported witness said the action was intended to send out a message that sexual assault was not tolerated.

Aamir Dhawan, 30, said: "We have had a lot of intolerable offences against women in this country recently, with girls being raped, hung, and molested, and it's time it stopped.

"This sends out a very strong message to anyone like that - if you do it you will be punished."

A police spokesman, who called on the attackers to hand themselves in, said: "As deplorable as these crimes are, law and order has to be maintained, and not lynch justice."