A 51-year-old Mira Road resident was arrested on Wednesday from his Srushti Complex home after he allegedly refused to accept groceries from a Muslim delivery boy. He was produced before the Thane sessions court and remanded in judicial custody.

The incident occurred on Tuesday, when the 32-year-old delivery boy, a resident of Naya Nagar, was delivering groceries ordered online. “I have been risking my life and delivering essential goods to homes,” the delivery boy said. “And to think that in these tough times too, people want to focus on religion is shocking and saddening.” He said he was wearing a mask and gloves at the time.

The police registered a case under IPC section 295 (a) (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs).

Shocked delivery boy recorded conversation

Around 9.40 am on Tuesday, the delivery boy was standing with the parcel at the gate of Srushti Complex and called the customer, the arrested man’s wife, as there were entry restrictions due to the lockdown imposed to fight Covid-19 in Mira-Bhayander.

The customer came with her husband and accepted the parcel. They were wearing masks too.

As the woman went through the list of items, her husband asked the delivery boy his name. On learning that the delivery boy was from a different community, the man told his wife to return the order. The delivery boy was shocked and recorded the rest of the conversation on his mobile phone.

The man allegedly told the delivery boy that he did not want to order from a person of the minority community.

The delivery boy, who has been working for the online grocery portal for over a year, narrated the incident to his family, who advised him to approach the police.

He said his family, including children, were worried for him because of the coronavirus, but he still was among the few who had agreed to do his job. He said that he has been delivering parcels to many homes and had never faced such discrimination.