Hyderabad, April 9 (IANS) The police in Hyderabad on Thursday booked a grocery supermarket manager and its two security personnel after two persons from the northeast were allegedly denied entry for ‘looking like foreigners’.
The police swung into action after a common friend of the duo from Manipur tweeted about the incident tagging Union minister Kiren Rijiju and Telangana minister K.T. Rama Rao.
While Rijiju asked him to send details of the location, Rama Rao requested the Director General of Police to take action.
Subsequently, Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat tweeted that a case against the store manager and two guards of Star Market has been registered at the Vanasthalipuram police station.
“The accused persons are in custody. We regret the incident. The police will not tolerate such act,” he said.
The accused were booked under IPC Sections 153 (wanton vilification or attacks upon the religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc of any particular group or class), 188 (disobedience to order promulgated by a public servant) and 341 (wrongful restraint).
Earlier, Rama Rao had called for stern action in the matter. “This is absolutely ridiculous and unacceptable. Racism in any form should be dealt with sternly,” Rama Rao tweeted.
He requested the DGP to instruct all police commissioners and superintendents of police to take up these issues seriously and send out a clear message.
“Two of my friends were denied entry today to buy groceries at Starmarket Vanastalipuram, Hyderabad. Reason? They look like a foreigner and not an Indian. Even after producing their Aadhaar Card, they were denied entry and were sent back home empty handed,” tweeted one Jonah, along with a video showing the security guard stopping his friends from entering the store.
“My questions to my fellow Indians: 1. Is this the new India? 2. Why are we required/forced to prove our citizenship to gain access to basic necessities? 3. Is Aadhaar card not enough to prove an Indian citizenship,” Jonah asked.
“Racism against NE people has become a common occurrence and we do not feel safe anymore being in our own country,” he said in one of his tweets.
Star Bazaar India in a statement posted on its Twitter handle said that discrimination of any kind is totally against its principles. “We are dealing with this incident sensitively and also on priority,” said.
It also replied to Jonah about the incident. “Hi Jonah, we are extremely sorry & we are truly disappointed with what happened. Assure you that we consider all customers equal & your safety is our priority. We are investigating this on high priority,” it said.