Japanese Woman Tweets on ‘Harassment’ Incident on Holi, Expresses Love for India
Screengrab from the purported video of the incident. (Image: Twitter/@ask_aubry)
The woman addressed the incident in a series of tweets in Japanese and said she took down the video she tweeted on March 9 as she got terrified from the massive number of messages she received following her post on the social media site
A Japanese woman, who was allegedly harassed and groped by a group of men on Holi, on Saturday termed the incident “unfortunate” and explained that she took part in the celebrations with “35 other friends”. In a series of tweets, she also said she loves everything about the country, and India and Japan will forever be “Tomodachi” (friends).
A video shot on March 8, when Holi was celebrated, in Delhi’s Paharganj area, went viral on social media the next day, triggering outrage as it showed a group of youths smearing colour on the woman, smashing an egg on her head and allegedly groping her in the process. Before stepping away, the woman also slaps one of the men who tried to grab her.
The woman, who left India for Bangladesh, addressed the situation on Saturday and said she took down the video she tweeted on March 9 as she got terrified by the massive number of messages she received following her post on the social media site.
She said she knew it was “very dangerous for a woman to go out alone even during the day because of the Indian festival called Holi”, and she participated in the event “with a total of about 35 other friends.” “Unfortunately, this kind of situation happened,” she added.
She clarifies that the purported video was shot with “no harmful intentions” and that she was “not trying to convey the abnormalities and damages of the Holi festival in India.”
“It’s hard to see in the video, but the cameraman and other people are helping us along the way,” she said in tweets roughly translated from Japanese.
Noting that the alleged video was shot at a place considered to be “one of the most unsafe places in India”, she stated that in the wake of this incident, the police have promised to strengthen their crackdown, and “we hope that harassment against women will decrease significantly at the Holi festival from next year.”
“And most of all, I love everything about India. I have been there many times, and it is a fascinating country. It’s a wonderful country that you can’t hate even if you receive this incident. India and Japan will forever be “Tomodachi” (friends)”, she stated.
Previously, in a tweet following the outcry over the statement, the woman had said she didn’t know it was a serious situation. “I have just arrived in Bangladesh. I’m really sorry that I didn’t know it was a serious situation. I am fine in mind and body. I will explain more tomorrow,” she said.
Delhi Police Apprehends 3
The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) and the National Commission for Women (NCW) took cognisance of the video on Friday and asked Delhi Police to examine it and register an FIR.
Following the directions, Delhi Police said the woman was staying in Paharganj and left for Bangladesh on Friday.
A day later, Deputy Commissioner of Police (central) Sanjay Kumar Sain said people seen in the video have been identified. “Three people, including a juvenile, have been apprehended and are being questioned. They have confessed to their involvement in the incident, as seen in the video. They all are residents of an area near Paharganj,” he was quoted as saying by PTI on Saturday.
Action has been initiated against the accused under the Delhi Police Act. According to the police, any future steps will be determined based on the case’s circumstances and in accordance with the woman’s complaint if she decides to file one.
A senior police officer stated that a Japanese embassy official confirmed via email that she has not been in touch with the embassy.
Separately, Delhi Police took to Twitter on Saturday, asking people not to share “misinformation” on social media about the number of crimes reported in the national capital on Holi.
(with inputs from PTI)
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