Guwahati: In a laudable effort, Mysore Police, Karnataka has taken into custody the manager and staff members of a retail food outlet following an FIR lodged against them for not allowing some Naga students to buy food and for allegedly showing discriminatory behavior to these students.
The video, which is went viral in the social media, clearly shows that the Naga students were not allowed to enter into More supermarket by its staff in Mysore to buy food. This at a time when there is crisis.
In the video one of the students is heard saying, “We are Indians, we need groceries too, we live here, we have Aadhaar Card. How can you discriminate (against) us?” This happens even as another customer enters the shop and a More staff member comes out to stop a person from making the video.
City Police Commissioner Chandragupta said an FIR has been registered and the manager and staff of the outlet have been taken into custody.
Dolly Kikon, an anthropologist and author from Nagaland, in her Twitter message said, “Meanwhile in Karnataka, Naga migrants from Northeast India not allowed to buy food. Shameful. Racism in India is an everyday affair.”
Reacting to this, Union minister for state of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju, in his Twitter reaction said, “This is unacceptable. Union Home Ministry has already issued clear advisory to all the States and Union Territories to prevent any such discrimination against the people of North-East. Pls inform the local Police wherever this incident had occurred as soon as possible.”
Temjen Toy, chief secretary, Nagaland said in his Twitter message, “Any Naga facing any kind of racial discrimination/harassment in other States may please send me an email at email@example.com giving details. They can also contact my team by phone at 03702291120 or 03702291122 or 1070”
Bhaskar Rao, Commissioner of Police, Bengaluru City has assured full protection of people from the region in Bengaluru. Responding to Dolly Kikon tweet, Rao in his Tweeter message said, “Ma’am, I have reached out to Mr Mughato Khiba, President, Naga Students Association in Bangalore. All the 109 Law & Order Police Stations have been told to be extra responsive to brethren of NE.I have also reached out directly on social media to respond myself. Need not have any fear.”
Rohini Swamy, a journalist in her Twitter message said, “This happened in Mysore .FIR has been lodged in Krishnaraja PS. The Manager and staff of the outlet have been taken to custody. We urge people & shop owners/staff to desist from doing such acts& behave responsibly in this time of crisis.”
More Retail Limited, where the incident took place, in their twitter message said, “More Retail does not accept discrimination of any kind in its stores. Our stores are open to all citizens of the country. This incident will be immediately investigated. We adhere to all the norms of State & Central Authorities and also request all the customers to follow the same.”
Earlier on Friday, on the issue of racial profiling and racial discrimination faced by Nagas and other Northeast Indians living outside the region, due to the spread of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio appealed all his counterparts to ensure that Nagas and people from the other states are “taken good care of”.
Taking to Twitter, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) wrote: “Honourable Chief Minister of #Nagaland @Neiphiu_Rio writes to all the Chief Ministers of #India in the wake of #CoronavirusOutbreak”. It also attached the letter written by the chief ministers across the country.
In the letter, written to all chief ministers of the states, Nagaland chief minister said that as COVID-19 sweeping across the world, India as a nation is “working tirelessly to contain and prevent its spread” and that the 21-day nation-wide lockdown is a “drastic but welcome step”. It added that while the lockdown is implemented with the “best of intentions” by the states, there are “some people residing in other States for education or work” and that they are “stranded away from home”.
“I assure you that we are taking all steps to ensure that people from other states residing in or visiting Nagaland are safe and are taken good care of. Similarly, I request you to take care of the people from Nagaland who may be stranded in your state and could be in need of food, accommodation or medical assistance, etc.,” the letter said.