Photo for representational purpose only
A man hurled racial slurs and kicked a 55-year-old Indian-origin woman in Singapore for not wearing a mask while she was brisk walking, in what appeared to be a hate crime.
On Friday morning, a man approached Hindocha Nita Vishnubhai, a private tutor, and asked her to pull her mask up from her chin, according to her daughter Parveen Kaur, who spoke to Channel News Asia on Monday.
In a widely shared Instagram message, Kaur said, "She explained that she was brisk walking but he didn't care. He hurled vulgarities and racial slurs at her."
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"My mum responded with a 'God bless you' and the guy kicked her in the chest. My mum landed on her back and hurt herself," she added. The man fled, leaving the woman shaken and wounded and his identity is not yet known.
Kaur claims that her mother used to take brisk walks to work as a form of regular exercise, but that the incident has made her "afraid of walking in her own country." According to police, a complaint has been filed and inquiries are underway.
All people in Singapore aged six and up are expected to wear masks when outside their homes, according to the health ministry's guidelines. They can take off their mask when doing outdoor or strenuous exercise, such as brisk walking or walking uphill, but they must put it back on afterward. Those walking at a normal pace are required to wear a mask.
The attack on Nita came days after a similar incident reportedly took place at Pasir Ris area on May 2, when a man was caught on camera shouting at a family of Indian expatriates and accusing them of spreading Covid-19. The online video shows that the man, believed to be a Singaporean, used derogatory terms against the family of four and asked them to "go back" and said they were "spreading the virus here", the Straits Times newspaper reported.