Only identified as Marie-Helene, a 27-year-old Frenchwoman was arrested in Uttarakhand after she posted a risky video of herself on Lakshman Jhula, a holy bridge suspended over the Ganges River, as per a CNN report.

Sacred Bridge, How So?

The “Lakshman Jhula is the place where” the three Hindu gods: Ram, Lakshman, and Sita “crossed the Ganges.”

The Ganges River which flows through India and Bangladesh is sacred to Hinduism.

According to Hindu mythology, the deity Lakshmi crossed the Ganges on jute ropes where the bridge now stands.

For Promoting Business 

Marie-Helene told us she peddles “bead necklaces online,” RK Saklani, a police officer told CNN.  

She shot the video to promote her business. 

The Frenchwoman was also wearing a shawl at the beginning, Saklani added.

However, it was dropped midway through filming.

Moreover, she appears unclothed with her back to the camera.

Harassment Awareness?

Marie- Helene said that she did it to spread harassment awareness in India, in a statement to AFP.   

I opted to “partially uncover on Laxman Jhula.”

Each time I passed the “bridge, I felt I was being harassed…”

I am sure that “My Indian sisters and fellow female travelers” have the same experience, she wrote.

The main aim was to help underprivileged women in India “to access education” and to break away from “abusive marriages or situations.” 

Ignorantia Legis Non Excusat 

It looks like she was unaware that “it’s illegal in India.”

Compared to her home country, it is “not so uncommon,” said senior police officer RK Saini, as per the Hindustan Times.

Marie-Helene added that she was alone in the area when she carried out the stunt, according to The Local.

First, I want to apologize because “my actions hurt the local community,” Marie-Helene added. 

“I was lacking awareness on (sic) cultural specificities.”

If Marie-Helen had stayed there “for such a long time”, she should have been “aware of the sensitivities,” Chloe Bernard, a French tourist told RFI

Furthermore, “pilgrims” frequent this “spot,” Bernard said. 


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