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OYO Rooms In Delhi Denies Kashmiri Person Accommodation, Cites ‘Govt Order’

The hotel chain has reportedly initiated an inquiry into the matter.

Kashmiris had reportedly been denied accommodation in hotels and lodgings in Delhi around Independence Day, in the aftermath of the Centre’s bid to amend Article 370 of the Constitution that gave Jammu and Kashmir its special status.

Malik Aabid, a student at Jamia Millia Islamia, narrated an incident on Twitter, where his Kashmiri friend was denied accommodation by OYO after he showed his identification to the receptionist. He was allegedly told that this was done on “order from the Centre”.

Speaking to The Hindu, Aabid said: “He was supposed to stay with me at my rented accommodation in Jamia Nagar, but decided to book a hotel because my flat was shared by a couple of other persons.”

At 9 pm, Aabid booked a room at OYO in his friend’s name and received a confirmation. “My friend and I went to the hotel and informed the manager about the booking, and he confirmed it. He then asked for my friend’s identity card. My friend then produced his Aadhaar card, which had his Jammu and Kashmir address. The manager’s expressions changed, and he made a call to someone.”

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“Over the phone, he was seen asking permission to allow a Kashmiri man. The person on the other side denied permission. The manager then said they had received a few WhatsApp messages which were apparently from the government stating that people from Jammu and Kashmir should not be allowed in their hotels. I also spoke to the person whom the manager had called, and he too said the same.”

This wasn’t the only incident. Other Twitter users have reported similar instances.

Following a complaint, OYO Rooms told The Hindu that they have “initiated an inquiry” into the manager’s actions, which, they added, were based on an “unverified message” circulated to a few hotels.

An employee of another OYO affiliate in Delhi’s Paharganj area told the daily that he was reluctant to take in Kashmiri customers, adding, “Beat officers have asked us not to entertain people from Kashmir, Nepal and Bangladesh around 15 August.”

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