At a time when delivery personnel across the country are risking their lives by delivering essential grocery items to those stuck at home, many still can’t seem to put aside their innate communal bias and continue to paint in the pandemic in a certain religious colour.
Maharashtra Man Refuses Delivery From Muslim Minority Man
A 51-year-old man from Thane’s Mira Road allegedly refused to collect groceries from a delivery man after learning that he was a Muslim. The man was arrested after his Islamophobic comments were recorded on video by the employee.
According to Indian Express, Barkat Patel, a 32-year-old Mira Road resident working with grocery delivery service, Grofers, was required to deliver the first of his nine deliveries for the day at the home of Supriya Chaturvedi.
This video is said to be from Maharashtra's Mira Road.
This person had refused to take delivery of ordered groceries because the delivery boy was a Muslim.
— Deccan Daily (@DailyDeccan) April 21, 2020
As per the current mandate, Patel was required to give Chaturvedi her parcel outside the gate of her apartment complex. Just as he was about hand over the parcel, Gajanan, Chaturvedi’s husband, stopped her. He wanted to know the name of the delivery boy. When he learnt that the man was a Muslim, he asked his wife to return the grocery items.
Shocked by Chaturvedi’s behaviour, Patel recorded the rest of the conversation on his cellphone. He later filed an FIR in Kashimira police station.
“The lady wanted to take the parcel but the man said no. When he said he would not take the parcel from Muslims, I did not say anything and started to record him on my phone. It was very hurtful,” Indian Express quoted Patel as saying.
The Man Has Been Arrested By Kashimira Police
The police have booked Chaturvedi under Section 295 (a) of the IPC for outraging religious feelings or beliefs. If convicted, the accused can be punished with imprisonment for up to three years.
While what has happened is definitely saddening, Patel wants to continue doing his job in these tough times. According to him, most customers have been treating him with respect ever since the lockdown has been enforced. “We are taking a huge risk while doing so. Most customers understand why I am out,” he said.