US passes bill to fight hate crimes against Asian Americans

The US Senate recently passed a bill to help combat the rise of hate crimes against the Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans. The bill will support the local law enforcements in controlling the hate crimes.

Need for the Bill

The COVID-19 increased the hate crimes against the Asian Americans in the US. According to the Federal Crime Data, the hate crimes were at the highest level in over a decade in 2019. This has increased further in 2020 after COVID-19.

The discrimination being reported in the US are Verbal harassment, physical assault, shunning, coughed or spat on, workplace discrimination or refusal of service.

Situation in California

Of all the states, California is facing a greater number of hate crimes. More than six million Asian Americans live in California. They make up more than 15% residents of the state. Between March, 2020 and May 2020, California had reported more than 800 COVID-19 related hate crimes. According to a study, these incidents have now increased by 1200%.

Hate Crimes in India

The Indian Penal Code makes hate crimes punishable. Sections 153 A, 153 B, 295 A, 505 (1), 298 and 505 (2) of the Indian Penal Code says that words spoken or written that promotes disharmony, insults, hatred on the basis of ethnicity, religion, culture, region, community, caste, race, etc is punishable under law.

Other Indian laws that contain provisions related to hate speech are Information Technology Act, 2000, Representation of People Act, 1951 and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

Hate Crimes in India due to COVID-19

In India, the hate crimes against Muslims are increasing due to COVID-19. Rumours are spreading in the country, especially in Jharkhand that Muslim men are deliberately splitting in public places to spread the virus. This has even created group clashes in Gumla district of Jharkhand.

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