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The people in the Northeast are increasingly facing racism and discrimination in the rest of the country since the outbreak of the coronavirus, says a report by Rights and Risk Analysis Group (RRAG), a New Delhi-based rights group.

The report, ‘Coronavirus Pandemic: India’s Mongoloid Looking People Face Upsurge Of Racism’ released on Thursday cited at least 22 cases of racial discrimination or hate crimes against such people between February 7 and March 25.

“Apart from being called “Corona”, “Chinese”, “Chinki”, India’s Mongoloid looking people were spat on and called “coronavirus”, forcibly quarantined despite showing no COVID-19 symptoms because of their looks, denied entry into the apartment complex,

forced to leave the apartment, threatened with eviction from their apartment, forced to leave a restaurant to make others comfortable, none wanting to share transport with them,” said Suhas Chakma of RRAG.

These acts of racism and racial discrimination have taken place in upscale restaurants and campuses of prestigious institutions like the Kirori Mal College of Delhi University, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS),

Mumbai, and the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), an institution of the Government of India, which prepares the school syllabus for students up to Class XII under the Central Board of Secondary Education.

The incidents had taken place across the length and breadth of the country in places such as Gujarat, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, West Bengal and Maharashtra, showing that prejudice, acts of racism and racial discrimination are not confined to particular areas.

Among the 22 cases, the report highlighted four such alleged racial attacks:

“A 74-year-old cancer patient and his daughter were denied entry into an apartment complex in Mumbai as neighbours suspected them to be Chinese

The man has been a frequent visitor to Mumbai for his cancer treatment and has been staying at the society for the last three months. However, on March 16,the security guard did not allow him and his daughter to enter the society alleging that they might be infected with the virus. 

“A girl from Shillong, Meghalaya was made to leave an upscale Delhi restaurant to make others comfortable. The helpless girl pleaded that she is not Chinese but from Shillong, which is a part of India. Eventually, the girl left the restaurant crying.”

The MHA on March 21 issued an advisory to all states/UTs to act against such racial attacks but Chakma said the advisory was not enough as there was no law against racism and racial discrimination in the country.

Courtesy – Deccan Herald

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