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Three more Indians in UAE face action over Islamophobic social media posts – Gulf News

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Dubai: It seems that the warnings of the Indian mission have fallen on deaf ears as the list of Indian expats facing action over vile Islamophobic remarks on social media keeps getting longer.

Over the weekend, at least three more have been fired or suspended after their offensive posts were brought to the attention of employers by social media users.

The men now join nearly half a dozen hate-mongers who have similarly landed in trouble in recent weeks.

The latest addition to the growing list include Italian chef Rawat Rohit, storekeeper Sachin Kinnigoli and a cash custodian whose name has been withheld by his firm.

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Transguard Group respond to Twitter users after they tagged the company seeking action against one of its employees
Image Credit: Twitter

Gulf News is refraining from publishing the posts or going into the details of their offensive content.

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.

Sharjah-based Pneumics Automation have also said they 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,” said the firm’s owner.

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 No. 5 of 2012. As of this statement, he is in the custody of Dubai Police,” a Transguard spokesperson said in a statement to Gulf News.

Transguard said their long-standing social media policy complies UAE’s stringent cybercrime regulations.

“It is enforced through regular monitoring, evaluation and, if necessary, disciplinary action, including fines, termination and deportation, as per federal law,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson also clarified that an individual reportedly posting hateful comments under the name of Prakash Kumar doesn’t work with them. “Twitter user Prakash Kumar” has falsely claimed that he works for Transguard. As mentioned multiple times, we have handed the matter to the authorities and since this individual is not a Transguard employee we have no further comment on the matter,” the spokesperson added.

Warnings fall on deaf ears

The new sackings and suspensions come days after both the former and current Indian Ambassadors to the UAE cautioned their countrymen about the UAE’s strict hate speech laws. Similar warnings were issued by missions in other GCC countries.

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A tweet from Pavan Kapoor, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, last month said ‘discrimination was against India’s moral fabric’ and warned citizens to ‘remember this’
Image Credit: Twitter

Of late, there has been an alarming increase in the number of highly offensive, Islamophobic posts by some Indians living in Gulf countries. Several of these people 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.

Many have tagged the employers of such people in their complaints, who in turn have taken swift punitive action.

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Former Indian Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Suri also provided ‘some context’ to the ‘ongoing controversy’ in a series of tweets
Image Credit: Twitter

The issue also gained prominence after some GCC citizens on Twitter entered the debate, and raised their voice against the spread of bigotry online.

Much of the vitriol can be traced to an atmosphere of blind hate against Muslims who have been blamed for the spread of COVID-19 in India.

Strict laws

The UAE outlaws all religious or racial discrimination under a legislation passed in 2015.

The anti-discrimination/anti-hatred law prohibits all acts “that stoke religious hatred and/or which insult religion through any form of expression, be it speech or the written word, books, pamphlets or via online media.”

The legislation mainly aims to fight “discrimination against individuals or groups based on religion, caste, doctrine, race, color or ethnic origin.”

Post at your own peril

Here is the list of some other Indian expats who have landed in trouble for their social media posts:

  • April 18: Prominent Sharjah-based Keratlite businessman and filmmaker Sohan Roy is forced to apologise for a video which depicted Islamic clerics leading blindfolded men in skull caps in an adaptation of his poem on religious bigotry.
  • April 6-15: Technician Rakesh B. Kitturmath, chief accountant Bala Krishna Nakka and finance analyst Mitesh Udeshi are fired for derogatory social media posts that violated the UAE law while a police complaint is filed against Sameer Bhandari, CEO of Future Vision Events & Weddings’ after he asked an Indian Muslim job seeker to “Go back to Pakistan” in text message
  • March 2020: Indian chef Trilok Singh who worked at a restaurant in Dubai is fired for making an online threat to rape Delhi-based law student Swati Khanna over her views on the controversial Citizen Amendment Act.
  • January 2020: Indian expat Jayant Gokhale draws flak for asking Keralite job seeker Abdulla SS to joining protestors in Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi.
  • March 2019: Indian safety and security officer at Transguard Group in Dubai is sacked and deported for posting a comment on Facebook celebrating the terror attacks on New Zealand mosques.
  • June 2018: Rigging supervisor at an Abu Dhabi firm is fired for threatening to kill Kerala chief minister in a facebook video.
  • June: 2018 JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai terminates contract with Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar after he puts up a post on twitter saying that followers of Islam had “terrorised” Hindus for 2,000 years.
  • April 2017: 33-year-old Indian is sacked for sending offensive Facebook messages to Indian journalist Rana Ayyub.

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Saskatoon police officer put on paid leave over 'harmful and offensive' social media posts – Saskatoon StarPhoenix

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Article content continued

“I want to assure the public that we take these complaints seriously. We have acted swiftly to address the issue and a thorough investigation will occur.”

The Saskatoon Police Association, the union that represents police officers in the city, said it will not be commenting at this time since the investigation is active.

The board of directors of Saskatoon Pride, in a Facebook post, said Cooper personally contacted the organization to inform it about the posts.

The organization said the posts are not just hurtful to the city’s 2SLGBTQ+ community, but to the entire community, and “are not worthy of someone charged with upholding the law and protecting the community.”

“It is a sad day for Saskatoon that, in the midst of outrage over the racist and criminal acts committed by police against the BIPOC community across the continent and during a month meant to celebrate diversity, inclusion and Pride, there is a member of the Saskatoon police force who would feel that they were entitled to express such bigoted views, while claiming to uphold the law and serve the public,” Saskatoon Pride’s board wrote.

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Social media helps solve mystery of lost camera found in Kelowna’s Mill Creek – Globalnews.ca

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Brianna Irawan, 13, was extremely happy after finding out on Thursday that her prized underwater camera that had been lost for almost a year had been found in Kelowna’s Mill Creek.

The Williams Lake teen was visiting relatives in Kelowna last year when she lost the camera while jumping into the waterfalls at Mill Creek Regional Park.

“We were on Mill Creek, jumping into the water and I put my camera underneath my clothes,” Irawan told Global News on Friday.

“When I jumped, I forgot about my camera, so I walked back up and then I picked up my clothes and I forgot my camera was underneath and it fell into the water.”






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Social media helps solve mystery of lost camera found in Kelowna’s Mill Creek


Social media helps solve mystery of lost camera found in Kelowna’s Mill Creek

READ MORE: Kelowna man finds digital camera in Mill Creek for second time

She went back the creek several times over the next few days, but eventually had to write her camera off to the river gods.

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The Fujifilm XP model wasn’t seen again until almost a year later when Calvin Van Buskirk found it caught up in some debris downstream.

“What makes it even more interesting is we found a GoPro there last year. You guys [Global News] were able to get the images and the videos off it within hours it found its way back to its rightful owner,” Van Buskirk said.






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Construction crew makes unusual find near Kelowna


Construction crew makes unusual find near Kelowna

It took less than 24 hours for images retrieved from the camera to make their way around social media and back to their owner.

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Kyla Irawan, Brianna’s mother, sent a message to Global News on Thursday afternoon through Facebook to say the photos had come from her daughter.

On Friday, Global News returned the camera — still in working order — to Brianna’s uncle, Travis Whiting, who is also Kelowna’s fire chief.






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‘This is the craziest thing,’: Lost GoPro owner reunited with camera


‘This is the craziest thing,’: Lost GoPro owner reunited with camera

The Irawans shared a message of gratitude with Van Buskirk.

“Thank you, Calvin, we totally appreciate your honesty,” said Kyla Irawan.

“Thank you for putting it on Global so I can give my daughter the opportunity to have all those memories back.”

For her part, Brianna said she can’t wait to see her FujiFilm XP model again.

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“Soon as I get it, I’m going to transfer the photos” to a computer, she said.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Former UBC basketball assistant coach criticized for social media activity – The Province

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Long-time assistant men’s basketball coach Vern Knopp will no longer work next to head coach Kevin Hanson.

The University of B.C. is distancing itself from former assistant men’s basketball coach Vern Knopp following questions about some of his activity on social media.

A Twitter account called Muted Madness pointed out on Thursday that Knopp had hit the like button on a video posted by conservative comedians the Hodge Twins on June 3 that claims the Black Lives Matter movement is a “leftist lie.”

A number of other Twitter users echoed the criticism of Knopp, who served as head coach Kevin Hanson’s volunteer assistant for the past two decades.

Later on Thursday, he shared a comment on his account, which is set to private: “So I never knew some likes to conservative posts would cause this shit storm? However my LIKES are those of mine and have nothing to do with UBC! I had told Coach Hanson months ago that I wasn’t returning to UBC but I just not (sic) made it public, only to my family.”

Reached via direct message on Friday, Knopp said he’d told Hanson about his decision in May as well as some parents on the team, but declined to make further comment.

Later on Thursday, Kavie Toor, UBC Athletics’ managing director, distanced the university from Knopp.

“Vern Knopp’s personal opinions, beliefs and social media endorsements do not represent the ideals and values of the UBC Thunderbirds. Vern Knopp is no longer a member of the Thunderbrids men’s basketball coaching staff,” he tweeted.

On Friday, the university’s athletics department declined to comment further.

The Alma Mater Society, a UBC students’ union, expressed support for the university’s position.

“The AMS is committed to supporting students from the Black community at this time, and we are actively working to develop programming to help combat anti-Black racism at UBC. The sentiments expressed by Mr. Knopp have absolutely no place at UBC, and society in general,” they said in a statement.

“We are encouraged to see that UBC Athletics and Recreation has taken a zero-tolerance approach to this issue.”

On Tuesday, the department shared a message on Twitter from university president Santa Ono.

“As Thunderbirds we join all of UBC in condemning racism in all forms. We are committed to an inclusive and respectful environment where we listen, learn and continue to grow together,” the department said in a tweet.

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