On Wednesday, 51-year-old Ghanshyam Chaturvedi was arrested for allegedly refusing to accept a grocery online order from a delivery man who belongs to a minority community, according to the delivery person’s statement to the police.
The accused, who is a resident of Mira Road was produced before the Thane sessions court on Wednesday and released on bail of Rs 15,000 personal surety, said Sanjay Hazare, senior police inspector, Kashimira police station, under whose jurisdiction Mira Road falls.
On Tuesday evening, the delivery man delivered the grocery items at the gate of the accused's apartment complex because of the nationwide lockdown limitations that are a result of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. The 21-day lockdown enforced by the government was extended by more than a fortnight on March 25 till May 3 in order to contain the spread of the highly infectious virus.
The delivery man had adhered to all prescribed precautions against COVID-19-- he was wearing personal protective equipment such as a mask and gloves. The customer and his wife came to the main gate to collect the groceries when the former asked the delivery person his name while the latter checked all the items.
When he learned that the man is from a minority community, he asked his wife to return the grocery items.
“The delivery man was shocked about Chaturvedi’s behaviour and recorded the entire conversation on his cellphone,” Hazare said.
“I risked my life to deliver all the essential items. But the man’s (Chaturvedi) behaviour was shocking and tragic, as he was focusing on my religion amid these hard times,” the delivery person told Kashimira Police authorities.
“Chaturvedi was arrested under Section 295 (a) (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code,” Hazare said.