The students said they were denied entry into Star supermarket on Wednesday because of their appearance and sought action against the management.
Hyderabad| Two Manipuri students claim that they were denied entry into Star supermarket in Hyderabad during the ongoing lockdown. In a case of coronavirus-induced racism, they were asked to not enter even after showing an Aadhaar card, apparently because they looked like “foreigners”.
The incident took place at the Star supermarket in Vanasthalipuram area, which comes under the Rachakonda police commissionerate.
The police filed a case under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, etc), 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), and 341 (wrongful restraint) of IPC against the store manager and two guards of Starmarket, said Vanastalipuram police official.
The Star supermarket store manager D Venkat Ramana, guard K Shankaraiah and Dileepkumar are currently in police custody.
The whole incident was recorded by the students and later shared on Twitter by one of their friends.
When video footage of the incident was posted on social media, top officials — including Union Minister Kiren Rijiju — tried to collect more details.
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The video shows two men being prevented from entering the supermarket by security guards. On being asked the reason, the guards ask the men to ‘not argue’ and talk to the store manager instead.
“What surprises me is that the other bystanders did nothing to help them out. This is appalling by any standards. Racism still has a place in our society even in the midst of this pandemic. Sadly, we are fighting two pandemics (#COVID-19 and Racism),” tweeted Jonah, a friend of the Manipuri two men.
Two of my friends were denied entry today to buy groceries at Starmarket Vanastalipuram,Hyderabad. Reason? They look like a foreginer and not an Indian.
— 𝙹𝚘𝚗𝚊𝚑 (जोनाह) (@jtrichao) April 8, 2020
A similar incident took place in Hyderabad just a few days ago, as a journalist who is a native of Arunachal Pradesh, was shamed by some men who called her ‘coronavirus.’ The victim shared her trauma on Twitter.
Strongly condemning the incident as ‘repugnant’, Minister for Municipal Administration, KT Rama Rao, asked the Director-General of Police to file cases against those who slander and abuse fellow citizens.