GUWAHATI: Three Muslim men, including a member of the Army Medical Corps in Guwahati, were allegedly subjected racial profiling and harassment by the management of Taj Vivanta hotel during their stay there.
The three men identified as Sahab Uddin, Zahid Islam Barbhuiyan and Dr Imran Hussain Laskar. Sahab and Zahid are educationists and social activists whereas Dr Imran worked as a dental hygienist in the Army Medical Corps (AMC) in Imphal.
The trio was from Barak Valley in southern Assam had checked in to the four-star Taj Vivanta hotel on Friday after they missed their Delhi-bound flight.
The trio checked in at 2:00 pm and paid Rs 2,000 for the additional bed and went out. When they returned at 4 pm, they find the hotel “full of security personnel” watching their movements.
A foul language with indecent words was used by hotel staffs who also allegedly misbehaved with them.
Speaking to News18, Laskar said, “They put us through the security check, luggage check and there were some people constantly following us everywhere. Is this right; what they have done to me? Is this how they treat a soldier?”
“They confined us in a room and cornered us with a volley of questions. There were a number of security personnel who surrounded us and we were mentally tortured,” said Zahid, a teacher by profession, also an activist and columnist.
“They checked his (Laskar’s) mobile and found an old video of (AIMIM MP) Asaduddin Owaisi and surmised he was a radical. They confiscated Laskar’s identity card, detained him and sent us to our room,” The Hindu quoted Zahid as saying.
“‘You keep AIMIM videos in your phone? Do you listen to (Asaduddin) Owaisi? Why do you have triple talaq debates?’ General Manager Ashwani Anand questioned asked upon seeing the videos in Laskar’s gallery and gave me dirty looks,” Laskar alleged.
The police after keeping them under scrutiny for about six hours, thanks to the three hapless colleagues for their cooperation and left around midnight after they realised that were not extremists.
#BoycottTajVivanta Taj Hotels Racist Islamophobic , u might nvr know when they get offended by ur look,lock u in room n call cops, snatch ur mobile, threaten to hit u @cjwerleman @drshamamohd @India_Resists @SAsiaSolidarity @imMAK02 @Tharoorian_INC @TripAdvisorUK @TajHotelDubai pic.twitter.com/MQ5xdDwqeE
— Zahid S Hussain (@ZahidSHussain1) October 15, 2018
Social media users reacted angrily to the alleged treatment and have been tagging Ratan Tata on Twitter urging him to intervene.
One user wrote, “Ratan Tata sir it’s your esteemed organisation n we can’t expect such act from your organisation. Will you please come forward to assure us what happened will not be repeated.” Another user asked, “Whats wrong with #tajhotel?U may disagree with owaisi but FYI he is an MP. How can u discriminate if someone just watching oswaisi’s video?”
@consaff @TajPresident @RNTata2000 Take action against the employees. Don't try to show us the fake international level of skill. They are unskilled, no doubt on that. Train them properly. In notice board was it displayed 'Muslims are not allowed'?Plz display #BoycottTajVivanta
— Parwayz Alam (@parwayz) October 15, 2018
Another user, Sajid, wrote, “Muslims should avoid visiting such hellish Hotels and I believe anyone who really cares about humanity and believes in secularism should boycott Taj Group Hotels untill those mentally retards working in Vivanta by Taj -Guwahati are Kicked out.”
@tajvivanta @RNTata2000 @tajgroup
3 Muslims youths were harassed by @VivantaGuwahati for hours!! One of them was indian army, they didn't spare him too!! Is this the customer service of a star hotel?? Horrific!!!
Will never keep our foot on that hotel.#BoycottTajVivanta
— Parwayz Alam (@parwayz) October 14, 2018
In the Facebook post, the victims of the incident can be seen speaking about the agony and pain they went through.