Manipuri woman alleges racism, harassment at Delhi airport’s immigration desk

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Courtesy Hindustan Times
New Delhi,  Jul 10 : A Manipuri woman alleged late on Saturday that an immigration official at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport hurled racist remarks at her when she was on her way to Seoul for a conference.

E-Front-__-monika-Khangembam-copyMonika Khangembam wrote on her Facebook wall that when she went to the immigration desk at IGI around 9 pm on Saturday, an official looked at her passport and said, “Indian toh nahi lagti ho” (you don’t look Indian).

He then allegedly smirked at her and asked her how many States comprised the country, in an apparent bid to “know her Indianness”.

She alleged that a female official at the adjacent counter was giggling while the male officer paid no heed to her saying that she was getting late for the flight.

When Khangembam told him she hailed from Manipur, he allegedly asked her to name the States Manipur shared its border with.
“I said I was really getting late and he goes like, “aircraft aapko chodke kahi nahi jaa rahi. Aaram se jawab do” (the aircraft isn’t leaving without you. You can answer at ease.)
Khangembam was en-route to Seoul to represent India at a global women’s conference on 14-15 July, the online platform thenortheasttoday.com reported.
“This is racism and bullying, but I will not let it hamper my spirit,” she told thenortheasttoday.com.

Following her complaint on Facebook, several Twitter users urged External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to step in and take action against the immigration officer.

These allegations are the latest in a long string of racist incidents against people from the North East in the Capital.

In December, a group of men in Gurgaon brutally assaulted a 29-year-old man from Manipur. Earlier, 19-year-old Nido Tania succumbed to ‘serious injuries’ after being brutally beaten in Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar locality.

The attacks have triggered waves of protests by North Eastern people, who say they are discriminated against, are called various names and routinely face violence, despite numbering around 200,000 in the city alone.

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