A man who allegedly masturbated in front of an American woman living in Mumbai, while she was out for a morning walk earlier this week, has been arrested after a photo she tweeted of him went viral on social media sites. The photo even came to the notice of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The accused man, identified as Gopal Valmiki, has been booked for outraging the woman's modesty. He was later released on bail and has apparently claimed that he was "just peeing" and the woman was mistaken.
On Monday morning I tweeted a picture of a man who had behaved in a sexually inappropriate manner towards me here in Mumbai.— Maryanna Abdo (@MaryAbdo) August 18, 2015
— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) August 17, 2015
The woman said she was out on a walk in Colaba in south Mumbai when she noticed the man masturbating openly in front of her. She raised an alarm, following which two other local men in the area rushed to help her, but the man apparently escaped. The woman managed to take a photograph of the man even as he was fleeing, helping the police to track down the accused.
The woman thanked people for the public support she has received following her complaint, and said that she had now handed over the matter to the police and subsequently deleted the man's photo from her social media account. She also urged people to take action against gender injustice.
Once again, thanks for all of your good wishes. If you are inspired to take action for gender justice please visit http://t.co/AJonk6Plbo— Maryanna Abdo (@MaryAbdo) August 18, 2015
While the woman has denied that the incident was unique to India — she said such horrors happen everywhere in the world — her story has prompted others to share similar incidents.
@MaryAbdo hats off to you. Your courageous move will inspire other women also.— Capt Rajiv Bali (@rajivbali2) August 19, 2015