Last Updated: November 12, 2023, 09:39 IST
New York, United States of America (USA)
An Indian couple, identified as Kurush Mistry and Shailja Gupta, has become the focus of a New York hate crime investigation, accused of covering up images of Israeli hostages held by Hamas and harassing a Jewish man. The incident unfolded near the city’s 68th Street and Riverside Boulevard on November 9.
It was first reported by US-based journalist Andy Ngô on social media platform X, formerly Twitter. Mistry and Gupta, both of whom are said to be Indian nationals, were observed concealing photos of civilians kidnapped by Hamas and displaying signs reading “occupiers face consequences.” They also allegedly harassed a Jewish man, instructing him to “return to his country.” A video of the incident, shared by Ngô, quickly went viral, prompting widespread criticism.
Update: I’ve been able to identify the two people racially harassing a Jewish man in NYC and covering up photos of civilians kidnapped by Hamas with “OCCUPIERS FACE CONSEQUENCES” signs. They are husband and wife Kurush Mistry and Shailja Gupta. The two Indian nationals told the… pic.twitter.com/OGn6Upce0d— Andy Ngô ️ (@MrAndyNgo) November 10, 2023
Ngô later provided an update, identifying the suspects as Kurush Mistry and Shailja Gupta. The couple allegedly told the Jewish man to “go back” to his country. The video’s circulation ignited public outrage and discussions about rising incidents of hate crimes.
Kurush Mistry, an IIM Ahmedabad graduate and an Oil Analyst at Freepoint Commodities, has been identified as Gupta’s husband. Kurush was reportedly fired from his oil analyst role at the company. Without specifying the name of the employee, Freepoint Commodities, in a LinkedIn post said that the individual involved in a recent antisemitic incident is no longer with them.
This incident comes as Jewish civil rights groups say they’ve seen large increases in reports of harassment, bias and sometimes physical assaults against members of their communities since the October 7 Hamas attacks. More than 1,200 people in Israel died, most of them in the Hamas attack, and about 240 hostages were taken from Israel into Gaza by Palestinian militants.
Thousands of Palestinians are fleeing northern Gaza as Israel’s military pushed deeper into dense urban neighborhoods in its battle with Hamas militants. Officials in the besieged enclave said the Palestinian death toll has surpassed 11,000 people.
(With agency inputs)