Two from state face racism in Hyderabad, three held
HYDERABAD, 9th Apr: In a case of coronavirus-induced racism, two students from Manipur were allegedly denied entry into a supermarket here reportedly due to their facial appearance, police said on Thursday.
The private security guards, along with the store manager, were taken into custody for not letting the two do shopping, police said on Thursday.
A video of the incident, purportedly showing one security guard saying there is no entry for them, even as two persons were heard seeking to know the reason for the refusal of entry, went viral, the police said.
The incident happened on Wednesday when the two students, aged around 24, pursuing BTech course in the city, went to buy grocery and vegetables, they said.
Based on a complaint, a case was registered under IPC Sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups) and other relevant sections and two security guards and the store manager were taken into custody, an investigating official told PTI.
Reacting to the video, Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju tweeted: "Give me the details where this incident took place."
Taking a serious note of the episode, Telangana IT and Industries Minister K T Rama Rao termed it as absolutely ridiculous and unacceptable and said racism in any form should be dealt with sternly.
Rama Rao tweeted: "This is absolutely ridiculous and unacceptable. Racism in any form should be dealt with sternly Request @TelanganaDGP Garu to instruct all Police Commissioners & Superintendents of Police to take up these issues seriously with retail association & send out a clear message."
In midst of the coronavirus pandemic, there are several incidents of racism faced by people from the North East in the city.
Numerous reports and accounts surface of them increasingly facing such instances after the coronavirus outbreak.
In the social media post, one of the Manipuri youths alleged that the security guard denied them entry into the store even after they showed Aadhaar cards to prove they're from India. The bystanders too allegedly helped in preventing their entry.
A friend of the two who faced the racist incident took to social media to share the video and ask ‘my fellow Indians’ Is this the new India? Why are we required/forced to prove our citizenship to gain access to basic necessities? Is an Aadhaar card not enough to prove an Indian citizenship?”
In late March, a Delhi man was arrested for spitting paan all over a Manipuri girl’s face, hair and T-shirt. “He called me ‘coronavirus’ before fleeing on his scooter,” the girl complained. Meanwhile in Ahmedabad, nine youngsters from Nagaland were forced to spend 24 hours at a quarantine facility, despite testing negative for COVID-19 and having no travel history.
In another incident, two Naga students lodged a police complaint in Mysuru after they were denied entry into a supermarket. “We showed them our proof (Aadhaar card) and told them, ‘we are from Northeast India and are college students’, but still they said, ‘we don’t accept foreigners’. We were arguing to prove ourselves as Indian in our own nation. We went back home without groceries,” one of the students shared on social media, along with a video of the incident, which subsequently went viral.