A French woman was reportedly arrested by the local police after she was caught filming herself naked on the holy bridge Lakshman Jhula in the Indian state of Uttrakhand.
According to the BBC, the woman’s allegedly blasphemous footage was posted on social media and was arrested for breaking India’s internet laws. If she is found guilty, she faces up to three years in prison, local police told AFP news agency.
Lakshman Jhula, nearly a Century-old suspension bridge is located in the city of Rishikesh, and is a holy site of Hindu pilgrimage in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.
Initially, the woman who was arrested on Thursday after police were made aware of the video said, she was filming the video to promote jewelry for her business. She was released on bail.
“Maybe in France, these things are not considered objectionable. But Rishikesh is a holy place and the Lakshman Jhula is the place where [Hindu gods] Ram, his brother Lakshman and wife Sita crossed the Ganges,” head of the police station where – later identified Marie-Helene – was arrested, told AFP.
However, later the 27-years-old apologized on Sunday, saying she was filming the footage to raise awareness on sexual harassment while also denying she was completely naked, NDTV reported.
She also said she was not aware of Indian internet laws and was sorry for her actions that hurt local communities.
“I chose to partially uncover on Lakshman Jhula because each time I crossed the bridge I felt I was being harassed… My Indian sisters and fellow female travelers surely have experienced the same,” she wrote in a statement.
“The main goal was to help oppressed women in the country to access education and to leave abusive marriages or situations, where there are no other options or help.”
The case will proceed, and could take months to conclude.