Hyderabad: In a clear case of racial discrimination, two students studying at the St. Mary’s group of institutions were denied entry into the Star Market at Vanasthalipuram in Hyderabad, on April 8th. The two boys are Angam Weapon (24) and Kai Haokip (22).

The two boys, who hail from the north eastern state of Manipur, were denied entry even after showing their aadhaar cards to the security staff. The issue came to light after a friend of the boys posted a video of the incident on Twitter.

Jonah, who tweeted the video told Newsmeter, “The security staff sent the boys empty handed even after showing their aadhaar cards. The staff at the store were not satisfied and insisted they take the permission of the manager who was not present at the store. The young boys cannot speak either English or Hindi authoritatively and might have felt intimidated by the response of the security guard.”

Meanwhile, taking cognizance of the video, Rachakonda police have replied to the video. Angam Weapon, one of the victims told NewsMeter that he has lodged a complaint with the police.

“What was more disheartening to us was the silence of the other customers. They could have stood up for us while we struggled to argue with the security. We would have reacted if something of similar nature had happened in our state. Why should we be proving our citizenship to buy basic necessities,” Mr JAngam asks.

In a tweet the Collector of Ranga Reddy district has ordered the registering of an FIR against the manager of the market. It was confirmed by principal secretary, Telangana, Arvind Kumar in a tweet and said the accused have been taken into custody. He exhorted the people of the State to stand by their ‘brothers and sisters’ from the North Eastern states in the midst the Coronavirus lockdown.

In response to the incident, Rachakona Police have booked the manager and two guards of Star Supermarket - Vanasthalipuram. Commissioner of Police -Rachakonda Mahesh Bhagwat said, " A case under section 153 ( giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint) of Indian Penal Code. The accused are in custody. Police will not tolerate such acts. In case of any problem, please dial 100 or 9490617234.

Minister of State for Minority Affairs and MP from Arunachal Pradesh, Kiren Rijiju also condemned the incident.

Racial discrimination against those belonging to the North East has become rampant in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. A few days back, Leemi Keche, a woman journalist who works for an English daily in Hyderabad was called ‘Coronavirus’ in public while she was on her way to a medical shop.

“On my way to the medical shop today, at least 15 people called me coronavirus,” the young reporter had tweeted.

Dheeshma Puzhakkal

Dheeshma Puzhakkal is currently a Reporter with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University, she has interned with Greater Kashmir newspaper and NDTV. Dheeshma has also made short films and documentaries. Her documentary �Still I Rise�, which is based on sex-trafficking in Hyderabad�s Old City, has earned accolades in several film festivals, such as International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Kerala (IDSFFK). An avid foodie, she loves to travel and listen to stories that others tell. Photography is one of her all-time interests. She has extensively written on satellite-based journalism, health, consumer, and data stories besides covering anti-crime investigative agencies.

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