The trio had checked into the Vivanta by Taj in Guwahati on Friday
ASSAM

Islamophobia? 3 harassed by 5-star hotel staff for ‘terror links’

The three friends, hailing from Barak Valley in Assam, later questioned by IB sleuths in Guwahati

Guwahati: Three youths hailing from Barak Valley in Assam have accused the staff of Vivanta by Taj, a 5-star hotel in Guwahati, of racial profiling after they were harassed and grilled for having ‘terror links’.

The three youths had checked into the hotel on Friday after they missed their flight to New Delhi as their train from Silchar to Guwahati was running late. The trio -- Imran Hussain Laskar, Zahid Islam Barbhuyan and Sahab Uddin -- checked into the hotel around 2 pm and made necessary payments for a room with an extra bed. Hours later, when their extra bed wasn’t provided, they made their way towards the pool, where they were not allowed to enter.

Things turned south when they tried moving towards a media team that was there to cover a programme by CM Sarbananda Sonowal. The hotel staff and management swung into action and called up the police and detained the youths in a room for several hours. The police began interrogating them and even frisked their belongings including their mobile phones.

Later in the evening, the Intelligence Bureau also arrived and questioned the youths and scanned their social media accounts for any suspicious activity. When nothing was found on them, the hotel management forced them to leave the hotel at midnight.

The incident of communal profiling has created an outrage among the people of Barak Valley after it went viral on social media. Meanwhile, the trio have also written to the Taj Group of Hotels accusing them of racial profiling and are also looking into the possibility of lodging a complaint with the consumer court.