NNN: Ministry warns against ‘racism’ of linking people in country’s northeast with COVID-19: The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday directed states to take action in cases of harassment against north-eastern people in India, which have increased with the outbreak of the coronavirus.
It has also asked states to sensitise people as the harassment is “racially discriminatory, inconvenient and painful”.
With coronavirus cases rising in India, exponentially, verbal and physical attacks on people in the country’s north-eastern states have also increased, as many are targeting them for their facial features that resemble those of average Chinese nationals.
“There have been cases where people of northeast including the athletes and sports persons have been harassed by linking them to COVID-19.
“This is racially discriminatory, inconvenient and painful to them,’’ the Ministry of Home Affairs said in an order dated 23 March.
It, however, came after the Delhi police booked a man on Sunday for allegedly spitting on a woman from Manipur and attacking her with racial slurs and calling her “corona”.
In another similar incident, Angellica Aribam, a woman from the north-eastern Indian state of Manipur lodged a complaint against a man identified as Mayank Sikarwar for allegedly attacking her with the racial slur “Chinki”, used for northeast Indians with Mongoloid features.
According to the country’s anti-racism legislation, use of the slur is a punishable offence with up to a five-year jail term.
People from seven north-eastern states, known as the seven sisters, are often discriminated against for their facial features.
The easternmost region of India comprised seven states, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura.
Edited By: AbiodunOluleye/Felix Ajide
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