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Home / Cities / In racist attack, man spits at woman from Manipur, heckles her

In racist attack, man spits at woman from Manipur, heckles her

cities Updated: Mar 23, 2020 23:48 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

New Delhi: Delhi Police have registered a case and are investigating the identity of the man who allegedly spat on a woman from Manipur and heckled her in an incident of race discrimination linked with the global coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak that has killed over 15,000 people.

Police said the incident occurred on Sunday night in north-west Delhi’s Vijay Nagar, near Mukherjee Nagar, where an unidentified man on a scooter spat on the woman and shouted “Corona” before fleeing.

Experts believe Covid-19 originated in China’s Wuhan province in late 2019.

Police said that the incident took place when the 25-year-old woman was walking on a dark stretch in her neighbourhood. She was alone at the time of the incident, and could not see the man’s face or the registration number of the scooter he was riding, they added.

At around midnight on Sunday, a twitter user posted two photographs of the woman (her face not visible) with spittle on her T-shirt and details of the alleged incident. The tweet was widely circulated, and the incident drew sharp criticism. Delhi’s chief minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted on Monday: “Am shocked to read this. Delhi Police must find the culprit and take strict action. We need to be united as a nation, especially in our fight against Covid-19.”

Deputy commissioner of police (northwest) Vijayanta Arya said that a case under Section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered at the Mukherjee Nagar police station.

“We are trying to identify and nab the man as early as possible,” Arya said, adding that the woman called the police control room at around 10.15pm on Sunday and reported the incident.

“We are scanning other CCTV cameras installed on that route and adjoining roads to identify the scooter and the man. We have also activated our human intelligence network for the same purpose,” she said.

BJP Nagaland president on Monday appealed to the party’s presidents across all states to ensure that racial profiling does not take place.

“I take this opportunity to appeal to my fellow BJP presidents to use your good offices to create awareness about the diversity of our people,” BJP Nagaland president Temjen Imna Along wrote.

In a March 21 circular, the Union ministry of home affairs wrote to the chief secretaries of states asking them to ensure law enforcement agencies be sensitised.

Covid-19 has led to a total lockdown in 19 Indian states, including Delhi, where only essential services have been permitted till March 31 to control the spread of the highly contagious disease.