Fact Check: 2020 Video of a Foreign Woman Harassed in Varanasi on Holi Is Shared As a Recent Incident

Amid recent reports of harassment and manhandling of a woman from Japan in Delhi on Holi, a video showing some boys on the road surrounding a girl and applying colour to her face is widely shared on social media, claiming that a foreign woman was recently harassed on Holi. 

The video is shared on Facebook with a caption: “होली ही एक ऐसा त्यौहार है जिस दिन उसे भी किसी महिला का चेहरा छूने का मौका मिल जाता है जिसे कभी किसी की मादा पशु की भी पूंछ छूने का सौभाग्य प्राप्त नहीं हुआ होता है ! इस तरह की होली सभ्य एवं शालिनी लोगों का त्यौहार हो ही नहीं सकता है, फूहड़ता अश्लीलता एवं अभद्रता का घिनौना खेल चल रहा है एक पवित्र त्योहार के नाम पर !!! होली के नाम पर कितना शर्मनाक और घिनौना हुड़दंग होता है – इस विदेशी महिला का अनुभव सुनिए।” (English translation: Holi is the only festival on which he gets a chance to touch the face of a woman who has never had the privilege of touching the tail of a female animal! This kind of Holi cannot be a festival of civilized and decent people, a disgusting game of promiscuous obscenity and indecency is going on in the name of a festival!!! What a shameful and disgusting hue and cry in the name of Holi Hear the experience of this foreign woman.) 

Here’s the link to the above post


NewsMobile fact-checked the above claim and found it to be MISLEADING. 

Performing a Reverse Image Search, we found a YouTube channel carrying a longer version of the viral video, dated September 13, 2020, with a caption: “Sexually assaulted during Holi festival in Varanasi, India • Safety For Solo Female Travellers.” In this video, the woman told how she was sexually assaulted on Holi in Varanasi. The woman appealed to the women passengers travelling alone to take care of their safety. The woman had come to celebrate Holi in Varanasi at that time. 

According to the information given on the YouTube channel, the woman is a solo traveller and a resident of the United Kingdom.

Moreover, we performed a keyword search but could not find any credible news article reporting that a UK woman was harassed in Varanasi on Holi. 

Thus, it is clear that a three-year-old video of a foreign woman harassed in Varanasi on Holi is shared as a recent incident. 

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