Suspicious that the two students were ‘foreign nationals’, the security guards refused to allow them in.

Manipuri students face racial discrimination denied entry into Hyderabad supermarket
Coronavirus Coronavirus Thursday, April 09, 2020 - 15:35

In a shocking incident of racial discrimination, two students from Manipur were denied entry into a supermarket in Hyderabad on Wednesday over 'coronavirus concerns'. The incident took place at Star Market in Vanasthalipuram, which falls under the Rachakonda police commissionerate. 

Suspicious that the two students were ‘foreign nationals’, the security guards refused to allow them in. The engineering graduates— Angam and Thangkai— even showed their Aadhaar card to prove their Indian nationality but were still denied entry.

The entire incident was filmed by the students and later shared on Twitter by one of their friends. 

In the video, the security guards are heard saying that they have received instructions not to let them in the backdrop of the coronavirus crisis, and suggest that they speak with the manager.

The incident has provoked outrage amongst netizens. The incident was also brought to the notice of Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports, Kiren Rijiju, who assured help. 

Speaking to TNM, one of the victims, Angam Weapon, said, “The security guards harassed us for almost 10 minutes, despite us proving that we are Indian nationals. They just wanted us to leave, so they kept saying that we should talk to the manager. When we asked them where he was and when he would come, they said after one hour.”

“As we couldn’t argue with them, we had to leave the store without buying any vegetables,” Angam shared.

Angam and Thangkai Haokip are pursuing BTech at St Mary’s Group of Institutions in Deshmukhi and have been residing in Vanasthalipuram. 

The students filed a complaint with the Vanasthalipuram police on Thursday. Following their complaint, two security guards, Shankariah and Dileep Kumar, and store manager Venkat Ramana, were arrested. 

They were booked under Sections 344 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), 153 A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc.), 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code.  

It may be recalled that a similar incident took place in Hyderabad just a few days ago, when a journalist, a native of Arunachal Pradesh, was humiliated by some men who called her ‘coronavirus.’ The victim took to Twitter to share her trauma. Strongly condemning the incident as ‘repugnant’, Minister for Municipal Administration, KT Rama Rao, asked the Director General of Police to file cases against those who slander and abuse fellow citizens.

Read: ‘Why aren’t we being recognised?’: Hyderabad contract sanitation workers protest 

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