A 51-year-old man who refused to collect groceries from a delivery man after learning that he was a Muslim was arrested in Mumbai on Tuesday, hours after his Islamophobic comments were recorded on video by the employee.
The target of the communal remarks was 32-year-old Barkat Patel, a Mira Road resident working with grocery service Grofers.
The first of Patel’s nine deliveries on Tuesday was at the home of Supriya Chaturvedi at Jaya Park at 9.40 am. As mandated by his employers, Patel was required to give Chaturvedi her parcel outside the gate of her apartment complex. Just as he was about hand over the parcel, Chaturvedi’s father, Gajanan stopped her.
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According to the phone video that Patel handed over the police, the accused first wanted to know the name of the delivery man.
“The lady wanted to take the parcel but the man said no. When he said he would not take parcel from Muslims, I did not say anything and started to record him on my phone. It was very hurtful,” he said.
On Tuesday evening, Patel registered a complaint at Kashimira police station. The police booked Gajanan Chaturvedi under the Indian Penal Code for committing a deliberate or malicious act with the intention of outraging Patel’s religious feelings and beliefs.
Sanjay Hajare, senior inspector, Kashimira police station, said that the accused was found at the address where Patel was to deliver the groceries and identified as the man recorded in the video.
Patel said that ever since the lockdown was enforced, customers have been treating him with more respect. “We are taking a huge risk while doing so. Most customers understand why I am out,” he said.
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