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Indian fashion photoshoot echoing gang-rape causes outrage
World | society | 10:25, 07 August 2014 | 5553

AKIPRESS.COM - An Indian fashion shoot sparked outrage and calls for legal action Wednesday for showing a woman being assaulted on a bus, echoing a fatal gang-rape that shocked the nation, Arab News reports.

The project by photographer Raj Shetye called “The Wrong Turn” appeared in his online portfolio in recent days before being taken down, but the pictures have since been carried by various media outlets.

They show a female model dressed in high-end fashion garments being groped on a bus by a group of men, also stylishly dressed, in various poses.

In one image, the woman is on the floor with a man standing over her, while one shows her struggling with two men gripping her arms, and another has two men pinning her down on the seats.

The shoot has drawn a torrent of criticism on social media in India, where the fatal gang-rape of a student on a bus in December 2012 sparked nationwide protests over levels of sexual violence against women.

Nirmala Samant, Chairwoman of the National Commission for Women, has written to Mumbai’s chief of police calling for an investigation over the photographs.

“Any person with common sense will understand this is nothing but glorifying of violence,” Samant said.

Mumbai-based Shetye issued a statement in defense of his work, saying he had tried to express himself “through the medium I know best” and that the controversy was based on misinterpretation.

“The aim is purely to create art that will garner public opinion about issues that concern women,” he said. “It breaks my heart to see my mother, my friends, my sister constraining themselves professionally and personally just to be safe.”

He said the clothes’ designers had not been credited as the shoot was not for commercial gain.

In the 2012 attack in New Delhi, a gang of six men raped a 23-year-old physiotherapy student, including with an iron rod, after she was tricked into boarding a private bus on the way home from the cinema with a male friend.

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