Angry Mob Threatened To Skin Australian Tourist And Rape His Girlfriend For Having Tattoo Of Hindu Goddess On Leg

An Australian couple that was visiting India were terrified after a mob threatened to skin him and sexually abuse his girlfriend because he had a tattoo of a Hindu goddess on his leg.

Matt Keith and Emily Kassianou, the couple, were eating in a restaurant in Bangalore, India, in 2015, when a gang of locals surrounded him.

The locals objected the tattoo that Keith had on his shin.

The couple was mobbed by the group, who wanted to skin his leg.

A policeman arrived on the scene, however, instead of helping he berated the couple for the tattoo.

The tattoo that Keith had was an image of Yellamma, a Hindu Goddess.

The couple, who are from Melbourne, were brought to the Ashok Nagar Police Station, where they were reprimanded in front of their attackers.

The couple was held at the police station for 3 hours until Keith agreed to write a letter of apology for offending the religious beliefs of India.

Keith made a post on Facebook about the attack after the incident.

He said in the post:

I should not have to apologise for what is on my skin and be put in a traumatising situation where it is apparently acceptable to be harassed, threatened and mobbed.  I do not deserve to be victimised and have to physically defend myself and my girlfriend every day.  She does not deserve sexual abuse both physical and verbal. We support equality for all, tolerance of everyone and especially for the women in this country.

Keith also shared an image of his handwritten letter.

He also said that he has a ‘massive’ tattoo on his back of Ganesha – one of the most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon.

Kassianou, who was 20 when the incident happened, said:

What we originally thought would be a quiet bite to eat turned into a vicious assault by members of the BJP right wing political party. These men are held with high esteem… with police bending backwards to please them.  This meant that Matt and I were victims of being illegally detained.  Yesterday, Matt and I found ourselves sitting in Ashoknagar Police station accused of “intentionally spreading hatred”. We repeatedly asked to leave, but were detained, although we were told we had not violated any criminal law.

Kassianou also attacked the sexual assault problem in the society of India.

She said that she was groped and sexually assaulted at a concert 2 weeks ago.

She explained:

We had been welcomed by friends with such love and genuine interest about the couple of tattooed white kids that we are. However, whilst we have been welcomed by our peers there has been a wave of blatant racism and intolerance that has been a constant struggle. You hear horror stories about India, this is one. But, Matt and I will not be intimidated by self-styled guardians of morality.  We will not sit down when there is no justice. Two weeks ago, I was groped and sexually assaulted at a concert.

Sandeep Patil, a senior police officer, released a statement about the incident.

Officer Patil admitted that his police officers were involved in harassing the Australian couple.

During an interview with NDTV, Patil said:

It was brought to our notice that a foreign national was harassed by some people and some local police people were also involved.

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