Discrimination against Northeast students in Mysuru is not an exception, as people from the region in Bengaluru have been bearing the brunt for the past two weeks — they have been called names and even forced to vacate their houses.
Vezokho Resu, president of North East Welfare Association Karnataka (NEWAK), said he has attended to at least 10 people who were forced to vacate their homes in Koramangala and Shantinagar. “They started with calling people from the northeast as ‘corona’ and it has escalated since. We had to make accommodation arrangements for those who were ousted from their houses for no reason. We have taken up the matter with the police.”
Resu said people like him, who have stayed in Bengaluru for more than 10 to 15 years, know how to make their way out of such situations. “It is not that we don’t face problems. But we know how to face it. But newcomers end up suffering. We are trying our best to help our community members.”
The association has sent out a general advisory to all its members to stay home and avoid being seen. “A situation like the one in Mysuru has not been reported yet. But I have been getting calls from members of the community over the past few days. Many are harassed when they go out to get commodities,” he said.
Resu said the fear over coronavirus should not be used as an excuse for such behaviour. “Racism has always existed, and citing anything as a reason is wrong. The virus has challenged us and we should fight the crisis together,” he said.
To register a complaint, people can call 9108723370.