Racists target Indians from North-East amidst Covid pandemic

Nine Naga youths forced into quarantine in Gujarat, Delhi man spits at Manipuri girl!

Image: Twitter/@Akhucha

In a shocking display of racism, people from North East India are being targeted and accused of spreading the Corona Virus. Covid-19 originated in China, and people from the NE are being accused of being Chinese!

In the first instance, nine youth from Nagaland, including six women and three men, were forcibly quarantined in Ahmedabad despite showing no symptoms or raising any concern that would qualify them for testing. They also had no history of foreign travel or contact with a laboratory confirmed Covid-19 infected patient.

Ahmedabad police landed up at the workplace of 24-year-old Cathy Chakhesang and her fellow Naga coworkers on Friday March 20. Chakhesang told Scroll, “They told the owner of the company that some public had complained about us – that we are carrying the virus because we look like Chinese. We told them we are from Nagaland in India.”

But the police did not listen to them and summoned an ambulance to ferry them to a quarantine center set up at a sports club. At the facility, their temperature was tested and was found to be in the normal range. Yet, they were not allowed to leave and forced to spend the night in the same facility that has used to quarantine people arriving from Australia. Chakhesang shot a video that went viral on whatsapp. Finally, on Saturday March 21, they were allowed to leave.

Meanwhile Ahmedabad police commissioner Ashish Bhatia brushed off the incident. He told Scroll, “Nothing went wrong. It was very simple, they were not subjected to anything, only checking and all was done.” He also appeared to care little about the danger in forcing healthy people to spend time in proximity of possibly unhealthy or infected people by saying, “Everybody is there, [other] people are there for 14 days.” Who is to be held accountable if this quarantine ends up being the reason for one of these young people contracting the virus? Isn’t purposefully endangering the life of a person based on their race, a hate crime? Or is the administration legitimizing racism by claiming it was in public interest?

Meanwhile in the capital, the Indian Express reported that a man first passed lewd comments at a 25 -year-old Manipuri woman in North-West Delhi’s Mukherjea Nagar area. The woman was returning after shopping from gorceries on Saturday evening when the 50-year-old man allegedly first made sexually coloured remarks about her. When she objected, he spat at her, yelled “Corona” and ran away. An FIR has been registered under section 509 at the Mukherjea Nagar police station, and police are looking for the accused. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted about the incident saying, “Am shocked to read this. Delhi Police must find the culprit and take strict action. We need to be united as a nation, especially in our fight against Covid-19.”



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