Dubai: Dubai-based Indian chef Trilok Singh who allegedly made an online threat to rape a woman and mutilate her genitals has been sacked, Gulf News can reveal.
The 38-year-old was the head chef at the popular Grand Barbeque Indian restaurant located at 24 Gold Hotel near the Gold Souk in Deira.
H Gani, a co-owner of the restaurant told Gulf News they fired Singh on Sunday evening, within hours of the Gulf News report.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy and a very strict code of conduct. We don’t take such issues lightly,” Gani said. “We thank Gulf News for bringing the matter to our attention. As soon as we saw the newspaper report, we called Singh and terminated his contract. We didn’t even wait for a day. His visa has been sent for cancellation. As a company we don’t want to associate ourselves with people who harbour such thoughts and make such derogatory remarks against a woman,” he added.
Originally from Bainjawari, in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, Singh was employed with the restaurant for the past two years.
Singh had made highly obscene online remarks against Delhi-based law student Swati Khanna after she spoke against India’s controversial Citizenship Amendment Act which has sparked unprecedented mass protests across India.
In his profanity-laced Facebook post, Singh had called Swati a prostitute and said she will be raped in Delhi, the centre-stage of a violent riot that left over 40 dead and more than a hundred injured last week.
Singh wrote the post in his native language Hindi. Gulf News refrained from giving an actual translation of the post as it is too explicit and contained references to genitals, acid and sticks.
Thousands of people called for Singh’s immediate arrest after Swati Khanna posted Singh’s comment on social media.
“He [Singh] lives in Dubai. In a Muslim country. And says this to me. I am an Indian who lives in India. Report this terrorist,” she added on Facebook, while attaching his Facebook profile to the post.
On Monday, she shared the Gulf News article on twitter saying: “I just dont know how a human can even think like this. I feel bad for such humans.”
Singh worked as a chef for the Lalit Hotel in Delhi before relocating to the UAE.
The Indian chef now joins a list of scores of UAE residents who have been sacked or deported for abusive social media posts.
Last March, an Indian staff at Dubai-based Transguard Group was sacked and deported for posting a comment on Facebook celebrating the terror attacks in New Zealand that left 50 dead.
In June 2018, a rigging supervisor at an Abu Dhabi firm was fired after he uploaded a Facebook video in which threatened to kill Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and rape his family. The same month a five-star hotel in Dubai terminated its contract with Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar after he tweeted that followers of Islam had “terrorised” Hindus for 2,000 years.
In 2017, another Keralite was terminated from his job for sending offensive Facebook messages to Indian journalist Rana Ayyub.
More recently, Indian expat Jayant Gokhale drew flak after he chided Keralite job seeker Abdulla SS for looking for work and suggested that he should make a living (sic) by joining protestors in Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi. Shaheen Bagh is the epicentre of ongoing mass demonstrations against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Goklahe issued a written apology to Abdulla after Gulf News reported the incident last month.
Tough laws on misuse of social media
People who post abusive messages on social media can be tried under the UAE Cybercrime law which stipulates stiff penalties such as jail terms and/or fines between Dh50,000 and Dh3 million.
Yet many continue to flirt with the law. In Abu Dhabi alone, public prosecutors handled handled 512 cases of social media violations in 2019 compared to 357 in 2018.