Three more Indian expats in UAE face action over Islamophobic social media posts

Dubai: Three more Indian expats in the United Arab Emirates have either been fired or suspended from their jobs for posting vile Islamophobic remarks on social media after their offensive posts were brought to the attention of employers by social media users.

Chef Rawat Rohit, storekeeper Sachin Kinnigoli and a cash custodian whose name has been withheld by his firm are the latest addition to the list of about 10 Indians who have faced action for their social media posts.

Indian ambassador Pavan Kapoor on April 20, had warned Indian expats against discriminatory behaviour after tweets targeting Muslims over the congregation of Tablighi Jamaat in New Delhi during COVID-19 surfaced on the social media.

A spokesperson for Azadea Group that operates Eataly, a chain of high-end Italian restaurants in Dubai, confirmed that Rawat Rohit who was employed with them as a chef has been suspended and is facing a disciplinary probe.

In another incident, the Sharjah-based Pneumics Automation said they had suspended their storekeeper Sachin Kinnigoli until further notice. “We have withheld his salary and told him not to come to work. The matter is under investigation. We have a zero tolerance policy. Anyone found guilty of insulting or showing contempt for someone’s religion will have to bear the consequences,” the Gulf News report quoted the firm’s unnamed owner as saying.

Similarly, Dubai-based Transguard Group said they have cracked down on an employee who had posted several anti-Islamic messages on his Facebook page under the name of Vishal Thakur. “Following an internal investigation, the actual identify of this employee was verified and he was stripped of his security credentials, terminated from our employment and handed over to the relevant authorities as per company policy and UAE Cybercrime Law. As of this statement, he is in the custody of Dubai Police,” a Transguard spokesperson said in a statement to Gulf News.

Recently, there has been an alarming increase in the number of highly offensive, Islamophobic posts by some Indians living in Gulf countries. Several of them have lost their jobs while others have swiftly taken down their posts or deactivated their accounts after being called out by other social media users.

The UAE outlaws all religious or racial discrimination under a legislation passed in 2015. The legislation mainly aims to fight “discrimination against individuals or groups based on religion, caste, doctrine, race, color or ethnic origin.”