With multiple cases of people from the North East being harassed and associated with coronavirus over the last few weeks, the Ministry of Home Affairs Monday issued an advisory to all States to take appropriate legal action against people who indulge in such activities.
Multiple instances of racial slurs against people of the North East, including sportspersons, have come to light, the advisory said. “There have been cases where people of the Northeast… have been harassed by linking them to COVID-19. This is racially discriminatory, inconvenient and painful to them,” the advisory said. “It is requested that all law enforcing agencies in your state, UT may please be sensitised to take appropriate action in cases of harassment when these are reported.”
Sources said at least three such incidents have been reported from Delhi. In one case, a woman from Manipur was spat on by a biker who called her “coronavirus” in Vijay Nagar.
A student was hit by a water balloon on Holi and called “corona” in Delhi University’s North Campus. In another case, a woman from the North East was chased out of a Pandara Road restaurant by guests. Delhi Police took cognisance of both the cases, sources said.
“Some incidents of racial remarks against North-East people have emerged in some parts of India in the wake of #Coronavirus due to cultural ignorance, prejudice mindset & lack of understanding. Matter discussed with NE Division, MHA. Strict advisory is being issued to the States,” Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju had tweeted Wednesday.
Media reports from across the country suggest that people from the North East have faced racial slurs due to their features. While one woman from Manipur was called coronavirus while buying groceries at a market in Pune, another was called “Chinese” by a traffic constable in the city while fining her for not wearing a helmet.
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