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Aussie man harassed over tattoo of goddess in Bengaluru, forced to write apology letter

An Australian national and his companion had a harrowing time in Bengaluru after locals objected to a tattoo of a goddess on his shin and harassed them. He later claimed that the police forced him to write an apology.

Matt Keith and his friend Emily from Melbourne were mobbed outside a restaurant on Residency Road after the group objected to a tattoo of goddess Yellamma on his shin.

The crowd began heckling the duo, soon the Ashok Nagar police arrived and took them to the police station. The crowd also followed them there.

The police then allegedly forced him to write an apology letter. Keith shared it on his Facebook page. It read: “My name is Matthew visiting from Melbourne, Australia. I am very sorry for offending Hindu religious beliefs by my tattoo. I didn’t know of this auspicious custom in regard to tattoo placement. I will make sure to cover it up until I am in India. Thanking you for educating me on what is appropriate. I am also extremely sorry for using inappropriate language.”

The leader of the group that heckled the Australian duo was later identified as a local BJP leader named Ramesh Yadav. However, he was denied harassing the Australians.

“Australian tourists had a Hindu goddess tattoo on their leg, not their fault, told them not to wear shorts. We tried explaining don’t wear ‘chaddi’ and wear Goddess tattoo but they used abusive language, so we called the police,” Yadav said.

“We didn’t want any FIR or apology. We just said say sorry and matter closed,” he added.

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