Tourist arrested for naked photoshoot at sacred bridge in India

Tourist arrested for naked photoshoot at sacred bridge in India


Lakshmanjhula, a footbridge over the Ganges river.


Lakshmanjhula, a footbridge over the Ganges river.

A 27-year-old French woman has been arrested for allegedly holding a nude video shoot at a scared bridge over the River Ganges in India.

The woman was arrested after a local ward councillor Gajendra Sajwan lodged a complaint against the woman at Rishikesh’s popular Lakshmanjhula.

RK Saini, a police senior sub-inspector, said: “Sajwan had lodged a complaint that the woman had done a nude video shoot and a photoshoot and put them on social media platforms through which he came to know about it.

“Based on the complaint, a case was registered against her under the relevant sections of Information Technology Act. During the probe, it was confirmed that the act was done on Lakshmanjhula, which is a public place. Later, some locals said that the woman is living in a hotel in Rishikesh,” said Siani.

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After verifying her address, police then went to her hotel and questioned her over the incident.

“During the questioning, she accepted to have shot the video in nude but claimed she was not aware that it’s illegal in India. She said the video and the photoshoot was intended to promote her bead-necklace business. She was then arrested on Thursday,” said Saini.

However, news agency AFP, who identified the woman using only her first name – Marie-Helene, reported that she carried out the strip as a stunt to highlight harassment.

”I chose to partially uncover on Laxman Jhula because each time I crossed the bridge I felt I was being harassed… My Indian sisters and fellow female travellers surely have experienced the same,” she told AFP.

“The main goal was to help oppressed Indian women to access education and to leave abusive marriages or situations, where there are no other options or help.”

Police said the women was later granted bail.

“It seems that she wasn’t aware that it’s illegal in India, as in France, it’s not so uncommon. She is in Rishikesh since the last four-five months and is staying in a hotel at present,” said Saini.

– Hindustan Times

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