A 40-year-old man has been arrested in Delhi for allegedly spitting on a Manipuri woman and calling her “corona” last week, PTI reported, quoting police. The accused was identified as Gaurav Vohra, a resident of Model Town locality.
There have been reports about Asians around the world, and people from the Northeast in India, having to contend with racial attacks, as they have been linked with the novel coronavirus outbreak that originated in China last year.
The woman had filed a complaint on Sunday alleging that the man slowed down his scooter, spat paan on her face and called her “corona” on a street in Mukherjee Nagar. The police examined the CCTV footage of the area and searched for a white scooter. After the scooter was identified, the police arrested the accused.
“She has stated in her complaint that she was passing through a dark stretch when a man passed lewd comments on her,” a senior police officer said according to The Indian Express. “When she objected, he spat on her and managed to escape after shouting ‘corona’.”
Vohra works at a cooker manufacturing factory in Anand Parbat area, the police said. The police seized the vehicle from his possession.
On Monday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had condemned the incident, and asked the Delhi Police to find the offender and take strict action. “Am shocked to read this,” Kejriwal had tweeted. “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.”
The Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday asked state governments to sensitise all law enforcement agencies to take action against any kind of verbal and physical harassment of people from the North East amid the coronavirus outbreak in India.
There have been at least 606 cases of the coronavirus in India so far, and 10 people have died. Globally, the number of cases has surpassed 4,38,000, and over 19,600 people have died, according to an estimate by Johns Hopkins University.