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Indian Lawmaker Asks People Not To Buy Vegetables From Muslim Vendors

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An Indian lawmaker from the ruling party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Suresh Tiwari, has warned people against buying vegetables from Muslim vendors to protect themselves from the virus.

Indian media reported on Tuesday, in a widely circulated video in which Tiwari is seen telling people to “keep one thing in mind […] do not buy vegetables from miyan (Muslims)”.

He also confirmed his remarks while talking to The Wire, saying that he had heard reports from people in his constituency about Muslim vendors “spitting on vegetables before selling them”.

Tiwari said he “advised the people to [not buy vegetables from them] so they could protect themselves from the coronavirus”.

He even proceeded to ask what was wrong with his statement, as he was a legislator who was hearing complaints.

While talking to The Indian Express Tiwari referred to a congregation of the Tableeghi Jamaat in Delhi last month, which was linked to dozens of infections and several deaths, and said: “Everyone can see what Jamaat members have done in the country”.

State BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said the party did “not endorse such statements” and would question the legislator over his remarks.

All India Radio News in a post on Twitter said the BJP issued a show cause notice to the legislator over his remarks “targeting a particular community”.

India has recently been re-assigned the status of ‘Country of Particular concern by the United States Commission for their discriminatory policies and hate speech against Muslim minority.

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