Un-Holi: Outrage in India after men seen groping female tourist during festival

Un-Holi: Outrage in India after men seen groping female tourist during festival
The video, which went viral on Twitter, shows a young Japanese woman being shoved around and groped by a group of men and boys in New Delhi during Holi.
PHOTO: Screengrab/Twitter/sraj101

For at least 24 seconds, a rowdy mob of men and boys groped, shoved and humiliated a petite Japanese tourist on a street in New Delhi, on a day meant to mark Holi – the Hindu festival of colours and love.

A video of the incident, now viral on Twitter, is sparking outrage in India.

Two men and a minor were arrested on Saturday, as calls for police to take action grew.

The viral video shows a group of men and boys dousing the 22-year-old woman with coloured water and powder as they shouted, "happy Holi" – as is the tradition during Holi.

But they were also seen in the clip groping her, touching her chest and pushing her around, even as she tried to flee from them, saying repeatedly, "itai, itai", which is Japanese for "it hurts".

A boy was also seen in the video smashing an egg on her head.

The woman then slapped a man who tried to grab her chest, and then quickly ran into an alley.

The incident reportedly took place in Delhi's Paharganj area.

The victim was said to have flown to Bangladesh without filing a complaint.

Ms Swati Maliwal, chair of the Delhi Commission for Women, called the assault "completely shameful behaviour".

The National Commission for Women demanded that police conduct a "fair and time-bound investigation" into the incident, calling for "a detailed report".

"The women protesting (against) the molestation and harassment during Holi are not defaming the religion or festival. The men doing it are. Go after them," wrote Twitter user Priyashmita Guha.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Sanjay Kumar Sain said all three arrested had admitted to being the ones assaulting the woman in the video.

But any action against them "would be decided on the merits and in accordance with the complaint by the girl, if any", he said.

The Japanese tourist said in a Twitter post on Friday that she was already in Bangladesh, and that she was "fine".

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This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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