Dimapur: The Nagaland government has expressed serious concern over the alleged racial discrimination of a Naga woman at a Chembur housing society in Mumbai on February 10, suspecting her to be a Chinese national amid the global coronavirus scare.

Announcing that the state chief minister has taken up the matter at the highest level, Dr Nyan, deputy director and PRO of Integrated Disease Surveillance Programmme, while addressing media persons in Dimapur on Tuesday, said, “The matter has been taken up by the state chief minister himself. He has taken up the matter to the highest level. Necessary steps are taken to ensure that such sort of stereotyping of not only the Nagas but also of the Northeast people not to be encouraged and such messages will go out from the highest level.”

On February 15, The Times of India had reported that coronavirus scare led to a fight in a Chembur housing society in Mumbai where one of its residents shot and allegedly circulated a video of a woman from Nagaland, suspecting her to be a Chinese. The 23-year-old woman, who was donning a black mask, had just arrived in the city from Nagaland, to visit a friend staying in the society on February 10, the report said.

According to the report, the woman, a video-blogger, arrived at her friend’s house in Chembur around 8.30 pm and was ringing the apartment’s doorbell, when, to her surprise, a resident of the building started shooting her while trying to engage her in a conversation. At 8.57pm, the host who resides in the building, received the video from her Kerala-based owner, who questioned her about the visitor.

According to the report, the friend hosting the blogger is also a 23-year-old woman from Nagaland studying at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), who has been staying in the house for a year.

“I was shocked to see the video, where my friend, who had just arrived from the airport, was being filmed by my neighbour. When I confronted him, it led to a major argument. His wife even asked my friend to leave the building. He claimed that he assumed my friend to be Chinese, and since she was wearing a mask, he thought she was infected with the coronavirus,” the TISS student was quoted as saying by TOI, adding that after she tried to tell him that it amounted to “racial discrimination” the fight escalated. Her friend eventually went away to stay with another acquaintance.

The TISS student intends to lodge a complaint with the institute’s North East Students’ Forum, the newspaper reported.

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