South Korean content creator Hyojeong Park: Tainted my view of India but I will return

ByShweta Sunny
Dec 02, 2022 10:41 AM IST

Content creator from Korea, Hyojeong Park, who was recently harassed and molested in Mumbai shares how she handled the situation and still loves the country despite the ordeal

Hyojeong Park, a South Korean traveler and content creator, was live streaming from the streets of Mumbai with over 1,000 viewers when she was harassed and molested by two men on Tuesday night.

Hyojeong Park
Hyojeong Park

In the now-viral video that was streamed live on Twitch, an interactive livestreaming service, the 24-year-old is first approached by one of the two accused men, who can be heard asking about her age and seen pulling her by her hand. “Being a content creator, I wanted to visit India since a long time. So, I was doing a live stream on the way back to my hotel around 11pm. There were two guys standing on the road and one of them yelled saying, ‘I love you’. Mostly when you are making content, people want to engage in the conversation so I said, ‘I love you too’ back while heading towards my hotel. But then, one of those guys approached me and put his hand around my shoulder while trying to kiss me. It startled me because this has never happened in my life.”

She further explains, “After this, I immediately wanted to leave the place without escalating the situation further. But he grabbed my wrist and dragged me towards his bike, saying, “Oh, I will give you a ride”, where his friend was also sitting. At that point, I strongly told him “no” multiple times. When someone says no, the other person should understand that it is a clear ‘no’ but he didn’t and tried to kiss me for the second time”.

Visibly shaken by the incident, she continues, “Then, my brain was like, ‘This could turn into a serious situation that I don’t want to even imagine’. So, I tried my best to not trigger him and leave the conversation while walking towards my hotel. But he started following me on his motorcycle, and his friend then said, ‘I will give you a ride, give me your phone number’. So, the best thing I could then think of was to give him a fake number so they would leave me alone but they continued pestering me”.

Luckily, one of the viewers who was watching the live stream was in the Khar area and came to her rescue then. “One of my live stream viewers saw it, came over and told him to leave in Hindi. After that, they started to keep their distance. But I was still not sure if they were watching or following me, so I waited for five to ten minutes alone on the streets to ensure that and then ran back to my hotel, right after”.

Adding, Park shares, “I have been in India for a month now and I did face harassment, but not this physical kind. In Egypt, there was a guy who asked me to kiss him but it was not physical harassment like this. So, this was the first time where someone tried to kiss me forcefully, without asking at all.”

Although, Mumbai police did not receive any complaint, they launched a search for the accused and arrested them on Thursday morning. The two accused have been identified as Mobeen Chand Mohammad Shaikh and Mohammad Naqeeb Sadrealam Ansari. An FIR against the accused has been registered at Khar Police station. Later on, Mumbai police posted this on their Instagram story, “Not on our streets. Never on our streets. A South Korean woman was recently harassed by two men in public, while live streaming. Taking suo moto cognizance, Khar Police registered a case and arrested the accused early this morning. They were charged with sexual assault u/s 354, 354(d), and 34 of the IPC”.

Speaking about the quick action by the Mumbai Police force, the content creator says, “I was very surprised by how quickly the Mumbai police took action. As a foreigner, I didn’t know what to do since I don’t know how the law enforcement system works here. If my friend hadn’t helped me upload the video, I think I wouldn’t have done anything at all.”

Lastly, she says, “It is sad that because of this viral 10-minute video, my viewers will think India is not a safe country for women to travel. But if you see my other content, you will see that’s not really the case. I got to eat a lot of free pani puris and attend an Indian wedding too! I want people to know that India is still a beautiful country to visit and they should come here. While this incident has tainted my memory, I still love India and will return back.”

From what could be gathered from her social media activity, the 24-year-old has been travelling across the country since early November. After the incident came to light, Indians have flooded her Instagram and Twitter comment sections, apologising for the ordeal on their behalf.

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