BENGALURU: The Mysuru police on Sunday filed a case against the staff of a popular supermarket chain in the city, after it denied entry to two people from northeastern India, who had gone to pick up groceries.
“A video showing discrimination against Naga migrants in a "More" outlet was noticed in Mysuru and immediately FIR has been lodged in Krishnaraja police station and the manager and staff of the outlet have been taken to custody," said Chandragupta, commissioner of police of Mysuru, about 125 km from Bengaluru.
“We urge people and shop owners/staff to desist from doing such acts and behave responsibly in this time of crisis," he added.
In the video, a young man is seen pleading with the staff to allow him inside the store. “I am also an Indian," he is heard telling the staff.
The video comes amid growing panic over the spread of the coronavirus. Similar stories have been reported from other parts of the country as well.
People from the north-eastern part of the country, present in large numbers in Bengaluru and other parts of Karnataka, say the discrimination has only increased since the panic around the spread of the virus. A large number of students reside in Bengaluru to pursue various streams of education in India’s silicon valley.
“It (discrimination) is getting worse in this coronavirus context," Rini, president of the Northeastern solidarity, a group that has remained one of the voices of the community since the 2012 exodus from Bengaluru.
The city witnessed one of its biggest exodus in 2012, when misinformation and fear gripped the city, forcing people from the northeast to flee. Thousands fled Bengaluru in special trains after some videos showed purported violence against them. Several hotels, security agencies, and construction work had come to a standstill following the exodus.
A large part of Bengaluru’s unorganised economy depends on migrant labourers, especially from the northeastern part, serving as security guards, construction workers and even plantation workers in Kodagu and Chikamagaluru.
Bylkuppe near Kodagu is also home to the second largest settlement of Tibetans in the country.