New Delhi: Three people, including a juvenile, were apprehended for allegedly harassing and groping a Japanese woman here on Holi, police said on Saturday.
A video of the incident, which went viral on social media, showed a group of youths smearing colour on the woman, who appeared uncomfortable. It also showed one of them smashing an egg on her head.
Though the woman did not lodge a complaint, the police have taken cognisance of the video and filed a case under Section 354, which seeks to punish acts that outrage a woman’s modesty.
The video was shot on the day of Holi on March 8 in Paharganj area. The woman was staying in Paharganj and left for Bangladesh on Friday, according to police.
Hope harrassment against women during Holi will decrease, says Japanese woman
In a series of tweets in Japanese on Saturday, the woman said that she had posted a video of the incident, but later deleted it.
“On March 9, I tweeted a video of the Indian festival Holi, but after that, the number of RTs and DMs increased more than I had imagined, and I was terrified, so I deleted the tweet. We sincerely apologise to those who were offended by the video.
“I had heard that it was very dangerous for a woman to go out alone during the daytime on Holi, an Indian festival that I participated in, so I participated in the event with a total of 35 other friends. Unfortunately, this kind of situation happened.
“It’s hard to see in the video, but the cameraman and other people are helping us along the way. The place where the video was filmed is considered to be one of the most unsafe places in India, and I participated in the festival,” she said in her tweets.
She also said that the “original Holi” is a wonderful traditional festival in which people celebrate the arrival of spring by throwing colour and water on each other without any regard to skin colour or social status.
“However, we sincerely apologise for causing concern to many people through videos and Twitter even though my goal was to convey the positive aspects and joys of India. really sorry,” she wrote in another of her tweets.
Since the incident came to light, police have promised to strengthen their crackdown, and we hope that harassment against women will decrease significantly during Holi festival from next year, she said.
“And most of all, I love everything about India, I have been there many times and it is a fascinating country. It’s such a wonderful country that you can’t hate it even if you find yourself at the recieving of such an incident. India and Japan will forever be ‘Tomodachi’,” the woman added.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (central) Sanjay Kumar Sain said people seen in the video have been identified and a case has been filed under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code.
The three people apprehended have confessed to their involvement in the incident as seen in the video. They all are residents of an area near Paharganj, he said.
The officer said the accused have been bound down, which means they will have to appear before police to join the investigation whenever required.
So far, the woman has not lodged any complaint. A Japanese embassy official, in response to an email, confirmed that she has not contacted the embassy also, a senior police officer said.
The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) and the National Commission for Women (NCW) also took cognisance of the video on Friday and asked Delhi Police to examine it and register an FIR.
Delhi Police on Twitter asked people not to share “misinformation” on social media about the number of crimes reported in the national capital on Holi.
“Some social media handles are sharing exaggerated and unfounded crime figures of Delhi pertaining to Holi festival. Spreading misinformation is legal offence… Do not share such information without verification,” it said.