GUWAHATI, March 29 - Expressing concern over reports of people hailing from the North East being subjected to racial abuse in other parts of the country following the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia has called upon Union Home Minister Amit Shah to ensure prompt action against perpetrators involved in such incidents.
In a letter to Shah, the senior Congress leader stated that �at a time when our country is struggling to cope with the threat posed by COVID-19, certain racist elements in some parts of India are targeting people with Mongoloid features, who hail from the North-Eastern states.�
�I have already received information about several such incidents in which persons from the North East have been abused as �Chinkis�, bat-eating tribes, etc. At a shopping mall in Pune, a middle-aged woman abused a young girl from the North East ostensibly because the culprit suspected the victim of being a Chinese national and, therefore, responsible for spreading coronavirus. In another incident, a scooter-rider in New Delhi spat on a young lady from the North East for apparently the same reason,� Saikia said.
He added that a lady in the national capital was so appallingly abused on social media that she was compelled to lodge an FIR with the Delhi Police against the culprits.
He further urged the Union Home Minister to instruct the Delhi Police to book and take appropriate action as per law against the persons responsible for harassing the lady on social media.
�It needs to be borne in mind that this sort of abuse is not only racist, but it violates the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. I would like to request you to issue strict instructions to the administrations of all states and Union Territories to take immediate and effective steps to protect domiciles from the North East from all kinds of physical and mental harassment on the pretext of coronavirus,� Saikia said.